2020 Lenten Reflections: A Holy Island Pilgrimage – Part 13

Part 13 Lindisfarne Scriptorium

Today we are peering through the window of Lindisfarne Scriptorium to delight in the illuminated manuscripts and innovative, emerging treasures …

Let’s pause and look through the window of the Lindisfarne Scriptorium where Mary Fleeson’s beautiful, present-day designs heart-connect us to God’s lifewords now, as well as illuminating the treasures of the past…

In the beginning was the Word

and jewel colours, patterns

of Celtic interlace, amongst which small figures

unnoticed help each other climb to higher places.

Light reflects from overshadowing wings,

the letters dance with sudden flames of fire

almost jumping from the page.

Glimpsed-at designs, prints, and unidentified

stuff of different sizes always intrigue when

peered at through the window.

Today we are not open;

or we might be, knock and see.

Come inside, and look around,


by the day by day, year on year output

of a Lindisfarne scriptorium.

With borrowed eye-sight of an eagle, Eadfrith-the-illuminator

has leave from time to time to do a search of the Scriptorium

as he used to, to squint with interest and surprise at

the latest almost-finished work,

pleased by its innovation and faithful artistry

on an Island now you drive to

along a causeway through the sea.

Lenten Journal 📚📖

As you watch each of these lenten videos, we invite you to pause and collect your thoughts in words, images and music.

📕Celtic Interlace

Study the living world around you. Venture outside your door or look outside your window. Where can you see the intricate weaving and intertwining of Life? And if you can but look at your own hands take a moment to marvel at the way your fingers can move in the three dimensional space created for dance and gesture. Capture your thoughts in your journal. 

📗Innovation and faithful artistry

Eadfrith was Bishop of Lindisfarne at the end of the 7th century. He is also remembered as an artist, a scribe.  How he must have inspired others in the scriptorium to capture the Word – Jesus – and illuminate Him into the pages of what we now have as the Lindisfarne Gospels.  

Eadfrith would have marvelled at both cars that drive along the Causeway and the computer you are reading this from. Indeed, the British Library has a digitised copy of the manuscript. Feast your eyes upon these jewel colours and intricate patterns here

📘God the Artist by Dag Hammarskjöld

Thou takest the pen – and the lines dance.

Thou takest the flute – and the notes shimmer.

Thou takest the brush – and the colours sing.

So all things have meaning and beauty in that space beyond time where Thou art.

How, then, can I hold back anything from Thee?

Take the words of this poem, which is one of our mediation for the day – 22 in CDP2. 

Try your own hands at illuminating these words. 

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