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As we come to the end of the road

I can’t believe that it’s already April.  It seems like just yesterday that Katie and I were preparing to go on our research trip to New York City, and now we’ve just finished up our CURO presentations and are preparing our final products for this directed reading.  Where on earth has the semester gone?  When I think about it, it’s truly amazing all that we have figured out in one year about the Hours of the Passion and its additional prayers, and everything was summed up in those presentations.

And oh, the presentations.  There are some things in life that I can never entirely get used to, no matter how frequently I encounter them.  Specifically, no matter how much I practice and how often I perform or present in front of others, a terrible sense of nervousness eats away at me when I once again have to stand at the before a room of people and speak.  It doesn’t matter that I’ve been doing public speech and displaying posters and such, years of practice just can’t erase anxiety.  However, it was all for the sake of getting the experience of addressing others with information about what interests me, and it’s certainly valuable in the long run, just like the trip to the Morgan Library was.

Despite knowing what I was talking about, I was incredibly nervous during my CURO presentation.  However, I was very excited about the results that I was presenting.  Everything seems to point to a standardized set of hymns used for the Long Hours of the Passion, with a tenuous stab at a standardized set of Psalms.  The Psalms do have a lot more variation, though, so perhaps they are part of the whole text that is more open to personalized choices, alterations, and deviations from the norm of the majority.  I need to finish up this semester’s research by looking into what might be typical of the Short Hours of the Passion and the Short Hours of the Cross, and then if there is any correlation between the most commonly found Psalms and the most common hymns.

Being able to contribute this research to the Hargrett Hours and the Special Collections Library is such an amazing end to my time at UGA, and it’s hard knowing that I won’t be returning to this project next year.  I’ve gotten rather attached to MS 836 and the Long Hours of the Passion over the course of three semesters after all.