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Money and Faith Retreat

The Silmarillion

On four Wednesdays in March and April, at Trinity Church, Bethlehem, Professor Jack Vickrey will be leading a group to read and discuss J.R.R. Tolkien's *The Silmarillion*. [From Mother Laura Howell]

Those who have read and loved Tolkien's *The Lord of the Rings* will recall how often, in that wonderful tale, stories about the very long past are alluded to.  Tolkien's son Christopher writes in his Foreword to *The Silmarillion*that it is "an account of the Elder Days, or the First Age of the World.  In The Lord of the Rings were narrated the great events at the end of the Third Age; but the tales of *The Silmarillion* are legends deriving from a much deeper past, when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils."  The Silmarils were three great jewels--"even in the darkness of the deepest treasury the Silmarils of their own radiance shone like the stars of Varda; and yet, as were they indeed living things, they rejoiced in light and received it and gave it back in hues more marvelous than before."

The tales in *The Silmarillion*--of Beren and Luthien, of Turin Turambar, of the great island of Numenor--are as wonderful as those of *The Lord of the Rings*.

As wonderful, and as wonderfully told, but to very different outcomes.

There are no comforting, if tearful, endings ("'Well, I'm back,' he said").  For "Doom is darker and deeper than any sea-dingle."  But, as Dr. Johnson said, claret is for boys, but port is for men.

All are welcome to join us at Trinity Bethlehem, March 21, 28, April 11, 18, at 6:00 in the Parish Hall.  Copies of the book are available from Mo. Laura, or 610-867-4741 X304.


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