Friday, 18 October 2013

Peregrination again

Yesterday's blog was entitled "Evening Peregrination".  One of the readers posted that my blog was extending her vocabulary. That's terrific.

Peregrinate has long been one of my favourite words.

When I was the Rector at St. Stephen's in Pittsfield, MA I would often say to one of our lay ministers  - (the late Phil Desch) - "I am about to peregrinate -  it's now legal for consenting adults". 

Phil understood my humour -  i.e.  the subliminal  idea that peregrinate sounds a bit like a dirty word.

The word is rooted in Latin  from "per" (through)  and "ager" (field):  hence referring to one who is a foreigner ( e.g. she/he who  travels (wanders)  through the fields,  rather than on the Roman Roads).

Thus the English language word "peregrinate"  emerged.  It means  journeying from place to place, or wandering, or traveling.

It's not hard to see that the English language word "pilgrim" comes from the same Latin root.   A pilgrim wanders around, traveling from place to place.

The word is also used in the avian world.  Most of us have heard about  "peregrine falcons".

And  the word emerges as an identifier of a particular form of  Psalm Chant  known well to Anglicans and Roman Catholics.   That chant is called "Tonus Peregrinus".  It is a chant in which the tone sung by tenor voices "wanders around".

So there you have it!
I'll think of you in my daily peregrinations.

1 comment:

  1. Please be sure to wash your hands when your done, you never know!!