With the season of Lent upon us, I have found a wonderful guide to prayer and reflection for it with Sarah Arthur’s Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide. (Paraclete Press 2016).
Midnight and Dawn draws upon relevant readings from the Psalms, Old Testament, Epistles, Gospel accounts and a deep breadth of literary excerpts from 17th century poet George Herbert to 19th century poet Gerard Manley Hopkins to contemporary American poet Anya Silver. The result is a rich and inspirational guide for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter.
The title, which draws upon a portion of TS Eliot’s “The Dry Salvages” in Four Quartets
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
is divided into twenty-one sections with six given to the season of Lent beginning with Ash Wednesday, eight for the Holy Week and the Triduum (Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter) and then seven for the following seven weeks of Easter.
I have used similar guides in the past and found them very helpful to/for me. But what I appreciate about this guide is the rich literary pieces featured in the readings.
there is this quote from Alfred Lloyd Tennyson’s “In Memoiram A.H.H”
Thou seemest human and divine,
The highest, holiest manhood, thou: Our will are ours, we know not how:
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.
Then there is Anya Silver’s “Ash Wednesday” which includes this line
If God won’t give me His body to clutch,
I’ll grind this soot in my skin instead.
The result is some wonderful imagery that truly gave me a pause for reflection on this season of the Christian faith.
I really liked Between Dawn and Midnight and I am going to be using it as part of my Lenten prayer and meditations.
My Goodreads rating is 4 stars!
Note: I was received a galley copy of this book via the publisher and Net Galley in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.