“Banished Repertoire: Sequences”

Dr Jennifer Donelson’s presentation, during a break-out session, was, as one would expect from her, enlightening, thought provoking and, well… just plain fun.

She is a delightful and engaging teacher.

I was not the only one charmed by the sequence for St Nicholas’ feast day, (“…Who, whilst in his cradle lying, by observing duly fast/ Heavenly joys began to merit even at his mother’s breast.”* Who would NOT be?!!?? Imagine it, no, thanks Mom, it’s Lent, ya know, as he gently nudges away the proffered nourishment…)

But I was also not the only one disappointed that his rumoured pasting of Arius at the council of Nicea was not mentioned in the lyric, so I offer my humble contribution to the literature. (The meter, I’ve chosen, 10 10 11, is not one I associate with any tune I’ve ever heard, but the meter of the translation in the hand-out seemed to vary quite widely, so forgive me…)

Champion of orthodoxy, vying,
‘Gainst those foes, who, Christ’s Godhead denying,
Boldly, blindly followed errant Arius.

Nicholas in council was defending
Truth, with many heretics contending,
Landing blows with his fists and words, various.

*Digby S Wrangham’s englishing of the sequence.