Highlight of the month

Passion Hymns. JS 337 4to.

This year 400 years have passed since the priest and poet Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614-1674) was born. This famous and much loved work by Hallgrímur is a collection of 50 devotional poetic texts. In them Hallgrímur explores the Passion of Christ, from the point at which Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemane until the crucifixion and burial. Hallgrímur took three years to complete the work, with the first edition published in 1666. The work has been published over 80 times in Iceland and has also been widely translated. The poems have become a major element in Icelandic Easter celebrations. They mark the beginning of Lent, as they are recited (one hymn each day) on the radio, and are either read or sung in various churches around the country on Black Friday. The 1659 autograph manuscript is one of the treasures of the manuscript collection—it is a copy that the poet gave to Ragnheiður, daughter of Bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson in 1661.

Click on the images below to view the manuscript at Handrit.is:

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