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Versare

 
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—  THE RITUAL  —

 

ACT II

 

FIFTH MOVEMENT

VERSARE

pouring the wine

 
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A new chant rings out in the ceremonial enclosure. The wine master reappears. And now begins the final walk, leading to the vascellum. As he walks, the wine master retrieves a carafe sitting on a cylindrical pedestal called a pedem. The wine master moves slowly. Sacred moments call for a sacred slowness. At the vascellum, holding the carafe in one hand, and also holding his breath, the wine master operates the vascellum’s internal organ, the heorte, living heart of the service vessel, whose movement causes its matris and the bottle held within it, to tilt. Seconds later, the wine meets the light of day, losing its bottle-shape as it escapes, and taking that of a free-flowing stream exhaling its scent, which, the moment it is collected by the carafe, begins to take that shape. As it lingers in the moment of pouring, the wine takes this triple form, as beautiful as it is ephemeral: bottle, stream, and carafe. Once the wine has been poured, the wine master lifts the matris again, collecting the last few drops. And then, facing the guests, he lifts the wine in the carafe with both hands, and replaces it on the pedem. Before returning for the seventh time in the ceremony, the wine master disappears from view one last time.

 
 

The ritual’s initiatory journey

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