Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Mass of St Giles -- The Master of St Giles

See the picture.

What a thing! And what a thing that I should see it!

There’s the king, stuttering and sighing – can’t get the words, can’t say ‘Forgive me, Father.’ And down comes… well, I’d have hardly believed it if I hadn’t seen it.

Of course, we were all dying to know what the king’s sin was – but Abbot Giles read the note, nodded once and pronounced the king forgiven. Not a smile at the king, not a glance at someone in the congregation, not a gasp at an unspeakable deed. Just a nod, and a piece of bread and a sip of wine for the king.

If I had ever imagined such a thing might happen, I would expect a roll of thunder, some flames, maybe a voice. I caught sight of the note – just from behind, where the ink had smudged through the paper. It was just an ordinary page as I might use to reckon my accounts. The Hand of God was unremarkable, too – tall black letters carefully formed as if scribed by a diligent clerk.

I couldn’t see that it said: I suppose some things are secret between kings, abbots and God.

1 comment:

sandy said...

quite an amazing turn of words reckon my accounts !loved it sk