Vigil: The Intertexts of a Poem by Jennifer Agee (Part 3)


This God loves and redeems all creation. This God says, Look, I make all things new. This God plucks us from the waters of chaos and sets us on the Living Rock.

Go here for the poem entire, a suitable text on which to reflect on Holy Saturday.

The texts of Holy Saturday in Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism include: Psalm 104 [103] (the proemial Psalm); Psalm 141 [140]; 142 [141]; Ps 130 [129]; (1) Genesis 1:1-13; (2) Isaiah 60:1-16; (3) Exodus 12:1-11; (4) Jonah 1:1-4:11; (5) Joshua 5:10-15; (6) Exodus 13:20-15:19; (7) Zephaniah 3:8-15; (8) 1 Kings 17:8-24; (9) Isaiah 61:10-62:5; (10) Genesis 22:1-18; (11) Isaiah 61:1-9; (12) 2 Kings 4:8-37; (13) Isaiah 63:11-64:5; (14) Jeremiah 31:31-34; (15) Daniel 3:1-68 (including the Hymn of the Three Youths); Romans 6:3-11 (the Epistle, on baptism); Psalm 82 [81]; Matthew 28:1-20 (the Gospel).

The texts read in churches indebted to the Latin rite include, but are not limited to (1) Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26; (2) Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 and Psalm 46; (3) Genesis 22:1-18 and Psalm 16; (4) Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 and Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18; [Isaiah 54:4a.5-14;] (5) Isaiah 55:1-11 and Isaiah 12:2-6; [Baruch 3:9-15, 3:32-4:4 or Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6 and Psalm 19;] (6) Ezekiel 36:24-28 and Psalm 42, 43; (7) Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Psalm 143; [Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Psalm 98;] Romans 6:3-11, Psalm 114; Matthew 28:1-10.

The intertexts of "Vigil" overlap with and extend beyond the above; a selection is offered here. All translations are my own. 

Revelation 21:1, 5
Καὶ εἶδον οὐρανὸν καινὸν καὶ γῆν καινήν

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.

Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ καθήμενος ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ· 

And the one who sat on the throne said:
Ἰδοὺ καινὰ ποιῶ πάντα. Look, I make all things new.
Isaiah 43:10b, 13  
Before me no God was formed, לְפָנַי לֹא־נוֹצַר אֵל
      and after me none shall come to exist.  וְאַחֲרַי לֹא יִהְיֶה
From day one I am he, גַּם־מִיּוֹם אֲנִי הוּא
    and none can pluck from my hand.  וְאֵין מִיָּדִי מַצִּיל
         I act, and who can reverse it? אֶפְעַל וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנָּה
 Psalm 144:5-7a  
LORD, bend your heavens, and you come down; יהוה הַט־שָׁמֶיךָ וְתֵרֵד
    touch the mountains, and let them smoke!  גַּע בֶּהָרִים וְיֶעֱשָׁנוּ
Crack lightning, and you disject them;  בְּרוֹק בָּרָק וּתְפִיצֵם
     send your arrows, and you roil them! שְׁלַח חִצֶּיךָ וּתְהַמֵּם
Send your hands from on high; שְׁלַח יָדֶיךָ מִמָּרוֹם
     disject me and pluck me פְּצֵנִי וְהַצִּילֵנִי
           from mighty waters! מִמַּיִם רַבִּים
Psalm 27:5  
For he hides me in his shelter כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי בְּסֻכֹּה
    on a day of trouble; בְּיוֹם רָעָה
He conceals me in the recesses of his tent, יַסְתִּרֵנִי בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ
     on a rock he sets me high.   בְּצוּר יְרוֹמְמֵנִי


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