Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Friday, October 20, 2006

Virtually Slaves: Lamentations 5 with poem by George Sandys, Judah in Exile Wanders

Daily Readings
Ezekiel 30, Jeremiah 43:8-13, Lamentations 5, Baruch 4

Daily Text: Lamentations 5

Virtually Slaves
Lamentations 5 follows a more traditional poetic format with a balanced synonomous parallelism within the two line phrases [532:102]. Titled as a prayer, it primarily describes the national distress. Evidently, those who remained were forced to pay for the necessities of life, even though they acquired those necessities themselves. Babylonian officials, virtually slaves in their own system, were those who had control over the remaining Judeans. Rape, abuse, humiliation, and the loss of all joy were the common experience. Desolation was the rule. In the final prayer there is the plea for the LORD to restore them in order for them to be restored. This parallel phrase of great beauty is modified by the LORD’s willingness to do so, they know that he has rejected them and may continue to do so.

Judah in Exile Wanders
George Sandys

Judah in exile wanders,
Ah, subdued
By vast afflictions and base servitude,
Among the heathen finds no rest.

Ah! see how Sion mourns!
Her gates and ways
Lie unfrequented on her solemn days,
Her virgins weep, her priests lament her fall,
And all
Her sweets convert to gall.

Collect for the Day
O Merciful God, who answerest the poor,
Answer us,
O Merciful God, who answerest the lowly in spirit,
Answer us,
O Merciful God, who answerest the broken of heart,
Answer us.
O Merciful God,
Answer us.
O Merciful God,
Have compassion.
O Merciful God,
O Merciful God,
O Merciful God, have pity upon us,
And at a near time.

[286:279:847 Day of Atonement]


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