San Miguel y Santa Muerte

15 07 2009

AG was listening to my CD of Crisotbal Morales’ Requiem (see video above), when it hit me that St. Michael is mentioned in the text of the old Requiem Mass, at the Offeretory:

sed signifer sanctus Michæl
repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam,
quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini ejus.

but may the sign-bearer, Saint Michael,
lead them into the holy light
which you promised to Abraham and his seed.

Of course, this image also came to mind:

Notice the ancient scales of Maat, signifying judgment over souls. I suppose that is why some people say that it is St. Michael that comes to retrieve souls at the point of death.

Like many traditions, however, this one seems to not have been passed down, except in the garbled, early morning prayers of a priest at Low Mass. So it is no wonder that in Mexico at least, the Angel of Death morphed into this:

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2 responses

15 07 2009
Adrian

Here is a relevant Liliana Felipe song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euZuBU9IP6I

15 07 2009
Visibilium

I like Morales’ Requiem, but I think Victoria’s is better. I hope to listen to Lassus’ in the near future.

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