The Anathemata

Mabinog’s Liturgy (continued)

For an anamnesis of whom

is said daily

at the Stone:

hostiam immaculatam

aberth pur, aberth glan.1 

Lara  of Lares Consitivi

Himself the Lar and the garnerb 

broken under Marmor’s sign.c 

But then, like Marmor miles

that whets his weapon acute at both edges.2 

Out from the mother (coronate of the daughter)3 

bearing the corn-stalks.d 

Exact Archon (by whom Astræa on Themis)

Lord-Paraclete of the Assize—e 

Yet who alone is named MISERICORS.f 

David Jones notes

1 aberth pur, aberth glân, a pure victim, a holy victim, pronounce approximately abberrth peerr, abberrth glahn. They are taken from the modern Welsh rendering of hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam in the Mass prayer immediately following the words of consecration. It is in this prayer, that the central achievements of the Victim are commemorated. It begins ‘Wherefore . . . calling to mind, etc.’ On which account, though the whole Mass is an anamnesis, this prayer is especially termed, by liturgists, the Prayer of Anamnesis.

2 Cf. Apoc., II, 12.

‘Haec dicit qui habet rhomphaeam utraque parte acutam.’

‘These things he says that has the weapon sharp at both its edges.’

3 See note 1 to page 230 and note 3 to page 231.

additional notes

a Lar (plural Lares): these were ancient Roman domestic gods. Anonymous and unnumbered, they were household spirits associated with everday activities — for example the Lares Consitivi were the gods associated with the sowing of seeds (from consitor=sower). Every home had a shrine dedicated to the lares of the place, rather like the picture of the Virgin Mary once found in many traditional Catholic homes.

c Marmor: Mars. As already noted on page 87, Mars was an agricultural god before becoming a war god (miles=soldier). Jesus was crucified in March.

d the reference here is to Demeter and Persephone (both corn-goddesses). Demeter forms the ears of corn when Persephone is on earth and so in a sense is ‘coronate of Persephone’. The ambiguity of ‘mother’ here is a way of drawing an analogy between Mary and Demeter.

e Exact Archon: just ruler (Greek). Astræa was the Greek virgin-goddess of justice. During the Golden Age she dwelt upon the earth with mankind, but was driven away by the lawlessness of the later Bronze Age. Zeus then placed her amongst the stars as the constellation Virgo. Themis was the goddess of divine law and order, so the word also means the traditional rules of conduct first established by the gods. Paraclete: advocate. Assize: day of Judgement.

f MISERICORS: Merciful.


In the fourth line, in the second edition (1955, reprinted 1972), ‘immaculatum’ appears as ‘i nmaculatum’. I have corrected this.


We return to Mass.

semantic structures


b garner: granary, storehouse.