Dante's "Purgatorio" Reading

FCCOL will hold a public reading of “Purgatorio” – the second part of Dante’s “Divine Comedy – on Maundy Thursday, March 28, at 7:00 p.m. The poem will be read canto by canto by 33 different readers, each using various translations of Dante’s work. The event is open to all and the public is invited to attend. 

In announcing the reading, Senior Minister Rev. Steve Jungkeit said, “The ‘Purgatorio” is a timeless piece of literature written in the early part of the 14th Century which poses the following kinds of questions: How do humans escape from the hellish conditions that we all too often create or find ourselves surrounded by?  How do we learn to love well?  How do we build lives devoted to beauty?  How do we get out of ourselves in order to craft a thriving civic and public life?  And what role do poetry, music and the other arts have to play in such an endeavor?”

He added, “In a world hovering at the brink, why not let Dante be our company and guide for an evening?”

The reading will begin promptly at 7:00 and will finish in the early hours of the morning. Breaks will be taken, refreshments will be available and a toast will be raised for all who make it to the very end.

The reading follows on last year’s reading of Dante’s “Inferno.”  The project will culminate on Maundy Thursday of 2025 with a reading of the third part of the Divine Comedy, “Paradiso.”

A traditional Maundy Thursday service of sacred song, readings from Scripture and holy communion will precede the reading, beginning at 6:00 p.m.