Just in time for Holy Week, Gary and I have released a new video today that we’re excited to share with you. The Hours of Mary Magdalene features images from my mixed media series of the same name, combined with Gary’s enchanting song “Mary Magdalena” from his CD House of Prayer. The video draws from the life Mary Magdalene, whose story is so intertwined with the dying and rising of Christ. Called by Christ to be the first to proclaim the news of his resurrection, Mary Magdalene became known in the Middle Ages as the “apostle to the apostles.”
The video draws also from the fascinating body of legends about the Magdalene—stories that may be slim on facts but convey something of our centuries-old fascination with this woman who played a distinctive role as a follower of Christ. As a preacher chick, I’m especially fond of the legend in which Mary Magdalene moves to France and becomes a famous preacher. (I like to imagine her going for a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant after holding forth.) She is also said to have released prisoners from a French jail. In the video you’ll find glimpses of these and other legends, including one that tells that she spent her final years as a hermit in the wilderness, clad only in her long hair; at the canonical hours, angels would come and whoosh her up to heaven for the liturgy, then would whoosh her back down again.
The Magdalene series found much inspiration in Books of Hours, those exquisite illuminated prayerbooks that became so popular among medieval folk as a companion for prayer. You can find out more about the original series and the influences and legends behind it on the Magdalene page in my online gallery.
We have launched the video at the splendid Vimeo site; if you click the Vimeo logo in the player embedded above, it will take you directly to a larger version of the video. We have also released the video on YouTube, where you can view it here. To share the video in worship and related settings, you can find a high-resolution version by visiting The Hours of Mary Magdalene on the Jan Richardson Images website. As always, using the Jan Richardson Images site helps make possible the ministry that I offer at The Painted Prayerbook and beyond. And downloading the video will support Gary’s ministry as well!
As Holy Week approaches, Gary and I hope you will enjoy a few moments in the contemplative company of the Magdalene, and that she may inspire us all to tell forth the words we are called to speak. Blessings!