Death, Dying, Grief and Mourning

            "Death is always the same,
                               but each man dies in his own way."

Carson McCullers, Clock Without Hands, 1960


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in Western Literature

An Anthology by  Adrienne Nater

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Death, Dying, Grief, and Mourning

in Western Literature


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Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, 1141

 Translation: Mother Columba & Jan Bishop

Vision Thirteen & 
Death for Martyrs

Vision Thirteen &  Death for Martyrs:

Symphony of the Blessed;

      Then I saw the lucent sky, in which I heard different kinds of music, marvelously embodying all the meanings I had heard before. I heard the praises of the joyous citizens of Heaven, steadfastly preserving in the ways of Truth: and laments calling people back to those praises and joys; and the exhortations of the virtues, spurring one another on to secure the salvation of the peoples ensnared by the Devil. And the virtues destroyed the snares, so that the faithful at last through repentance passed out of their sins and into Heaven.

      And their song, like the voice of the multitude, making music in harmony praising the ranks of Heaven, had these words:


          To the Martyrs

          O ye who have poured out your blood in triumph,

And conquered a share in the blood of the Lamb who perished,

Feasting upon the slain calf’s sacrifice,

And so built the Church, what a great reward is yours!

Alive, you followed the Lamb, and despised your bodies,

Adorned His pains, and so recaptured your portions.


          O rose blossoms, blessed in the joy of your blood’s effusion!

Your fragrant blood flowed forth from the inner counsel

Of Him Who has been always, without beginning,

And planned before time began His great redemption.

          Your company is honor, whose blood abounded

To build the church in the stream from your noble wounds. 



Adrienne Nater, 2008

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