Murder in the Cathedral

BECKET – “This is the sign of the Church always: The Sign of Blood.”

KNIGHTS. Where is Becket, the traitor to the King?
Where is Becket, the meddling priest?
Come down Daniel to the lions’ den,
Come down Daniel for the mark of the beast.

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you marked with the mark of the beast?
Come down Daniel to the lions’ den,
Come down Daniel and join in the feast.

Where is Becket the Cheapside brat?
Where is Becket the faithless priest?
Come down Daniel to the lions’ den,
Come down Daniel and join in the feast.

THOMAS. It is the just man who
Like a bold lion, should be without fear.
I am here.
No traitor to the King. I am a priest,
A Christian, saved by the blood of Christ,
Ready to suffer with my blood.
This is the sign of the Church always,
The sign of blood. Blood for blood.
His blood given to buy my life,
My blood given to pay for His death.
My death for His death.

KNIGHTS. Absolve all those you have excommunicated.
Resign the powers you have arrogated.
Restore to the King the money you appropriated.
Renew the obedience you have violated.

THOMAS. For my Lord I am now ready to die,
That His Church may have peace and liberty.

Do with me as you will, to your hurt and shame;
But none of my people, in God’s name,
Whether layman or clerk, shall you touch,
This I forbid.

Now to Almighty God, to the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to the blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, to the blessed martyr Denys, and to all the Saints, I commend my cause and that of the Church.

T. S. Eliot
‘Murder in the Cathedral’.

(H/t to RORATE CAELI)

*****

We should remember our priests every day. They have a lot to put up with!

Latin Mass Society 

Today is a Class 1 feast in England and Wales. St Thomas á Becket, martyred for defending the faith against Henry II in 1170.

A special request from Bishop Egan of the Portsmouth diocese –
“today, the feast of St Thomas à Becket, the Patron of England’s secular clergy, please say a prayer with love for your parish priest.”

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2 Responses to Murder in the Cathedral

  1. Yes, our parish priests do have a lot to put up with. And many of them, in their own quiet way, do themselves suffer a kind of keen martyrdom. Thank you for reminding us to pray for them.

  2. GC says:

    Clear the air! Clean the sky! Wash the wind!

    Take stone from stone and wash them.

    The land is foul, the water is foul, our beasts

    and ourselves defiled with blood.

    A rain of blood has blinded my eyes.

    Where is England? Where is Kent? Where is

    Canterbury?

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