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Friday, 15 July 2016

Seeing more clearly with the eyes of love

As part of the 400th year celebration of William Shakespeare the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture will be leading an act of worship at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Wednesday 3 August at 7.00pm entitled: “Seeing more clearly with the eyes of love.” 

The liturgy will weave together excerpts from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with traditional liturgy and contemporary poetry. It promises to be a very creative and illuminating reflection on the nature of love. This service is open to all and no ticket is required. There will be a retiring collection. All are welcome.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream contains two significant references to the New Testament: Bottom’s misquoting of St Paul (‘The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen…’) and Bottom’s declaration taken from the Letter to the Ephesians (‘I assure you: the wall is down that parted their fathers’). In this ‘Liturgy for Voices’ these references are woven together with other excerpts from the play, words from the biblical poem ‘Song of Songs’, and elements from the traditional Christian liturgy to enable those present to explore Shakespeare’s own theme of clarifying the vision which belongs to love. The liturgy also includes five newly commissioned pieces from contemporary poets based on characters in the play – Laurence Sail (Titania), Michael Symmons Roberts (Demetrius), Sinead Morrissey (Puck), Micheal O’ Siadhail (Helena) and Jenny Lewis (Bottom) – and the whole is intended to present an aspect of ‘Civic Shakespeare’, reflecting on the potentially transforming effect of love in civil society.


Michael Symmons Roberts - Pelt.

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