Line Tjørnhøj - Stabat Mater - Vejle 09

Stabat Mater was originally created in 2009. The main idea was to change the famous text, placing it in a contemporary context where children are publicly executed in certain situations around the world.

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Libretto

I have and possess whatever place to live, whatever form and whatever function I myself choose according to my desires and my judgement. I may choose for myself the limits and bounds of my nature. I am placed at the very very centre of the world so that I may survey everything else in the world. I am a creature neither of heaven nor of earth! Neither mortal nor immortal. I as the free and proud shaper of my own being may fashion myself in the form I may prefer. It is in my power to descend to the beastly form of life. And to me is granted the power to rise into the divine.

Text: Line Tjørnhøj freely after Pico della Mirandola (1486) Oration on the dignity of the human being.

It is your duty to punish my tormentors not me their victim.
I am not old enough to marry. I cannot declare war. Still I am abused, tortured, sentenced to death, executed.
Judge: You will hang for your sharp tongue. I myself will put the noose around your neck. This is my personal crusade. To uphold this verdict.
Transfix my heart with the wounds.
(Text: Quotes from the trial - Line Tjørnhøj – from the story about Atefah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atefah_Sahaaleh)


1. The child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually.
2. The child that is hungry must be fed, the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped,
the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succoured.
3. The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress.
4. The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation.
5. The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of its fellow men.
(text: from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Stabat Mater)

Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 37 States Parties shall ensure that:
No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;

I stand for the crane where my children are hanging – weeping –
My soul – sighing from grief and sadness – pierced by a sword
O – how sad and afflicted – I the blessed mother of children
I mourn; I grieve and suffer looking at the torment of my glorious children
Who is the person who would not weep seeing me in such agony?
Who would not be able to feel compassion on beholding me suffering with my children?
For the sins of their people I see my children in torment and subjected to the scourge
I see my sweet offspring dying, desolated, while giving up their spirits
I – the mother, fountain of love, feel the power of sorrow, grieve with me
Grant your heart to burn in love of these children, that you may be pleasing to them
I – the mother – grant that the wounds of the hanged children drive deep into your heart
That of my wounded children, who so deigned to suffer for you, you may share the pain
Weep with me, bemoan the hanged children for as long as you live
Stand before the crane with me and gladly share the weeping
I the mother is not bitter with you – weep with me
Grant to bear the death of these children, the fate of their passion and commemorate their wounds
Be wounded with their wounds, inebriated by the crane because of love the children
I the mother defend you burning in the flames of hell on the day of judgment
When your body dies, I grant that to your soul is given the glory of paradise. Amen

(Stabat Mater in Line Tjørnhøj’s revised version. )

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