Sunday, January 20, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 4

The Wedding - Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky

The Wedding of Levin and Kitty is full of references to Scripture. I counted eight within two pages. Keener eyes than mine may be able to point out more. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, so I welcome input from readers who are.

"Blessed be the name of the Lord," the solemn syllables rang out slowly one after another, setting the air quivering with waves of sound.
"Blessed by the name of our God, now and hereafter," the little old priest answered in a submissive, piping voice, still fingering something at the lectern. And the full chorus of the unseen choir rose up, filling the whole church from the windows to the vaulted roof with broad waves of melody. It grew stronger, rested for an instant, and slowly died away." (Part V, Chapter 4) 

The line "Blessed be the name of the Lord." occurs multiple times in Scripture. I chose the following passage which I feel is representative of the joyful, hopeful nature of a wedding ceremony:

Psalm 113

King James Version 

113 Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high,
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.

(Bible Gateway)

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