Saturday 26 December 2020

"Let man and beast appear before him and magnify his name together"


I'm not sure if anyone could go there this Christmas, but if you did go to St. Mary's Church, Iffley in Oxfordshire you would find the Nativity Window, designed by John Piper, and fabricated by David Wasley. 

COCK - Christus natus est (Christ is born)
GOOSE - Quando? Quando? (When? When?)
CROW - In hac nocte (On this night)
OWL - Ubi? Ubi? (Where? where?)
LAMB - Bethlehem! Bethlehem!

The cock's on top of the world because he's escaped from a medieval story / carol ultimately starting with St Stephen but transforming over time into a tale of two dining men, one of whom begins bragging while carving the fowl. He says he'll do it so thoroughly that "not Peter nor our Lord Himself could put it together again". Big mistake to brag in a medieval story!: The cock got his feathers back and began crowing, and both men became lepers. (What a heartwarming Christmas tale!) 

What's even more fun is the if you read the Latin words spoken by the animals they resemble the noises the creatures themselves make.

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