• John Tavener
  • Thunder Entered Her (1990)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the St. Albans Chamber Choir

  • orghandbells
  • 20 min
  • John Tavener
  • text trans. by Dr Sebastian Brock
  • English, Greek

Programme Note

Thunder Entered Her is a divine allegory which ponders on the mystery of the Incarnation as described St Ephrem the Syrian, the greatest poet of the patristic age, and perhaps the only Theologian poet to rank beside Dante. So rich is the symbolism of St Ephrem's poetry that he said, slightly ironically, 'Jesus, you have so many symbols, I am drowning in a sea of them.' He died in 373 in Edessa (Urfa, east of the Euphrates in modern south-east Turkey), a town which was for a long time the spiritual home of Syriac speaking Christianity.

The salvation effected by Christ's residing in Mary's womb, in the 'womb' of Jordan and in the 'womb' of the grave, is seen as being already fully accomplished in the temporal event of the feast; in liturgical time, past, present and future are all conjoined in an eternal 'now'.

John Tavener