The Name

Charis has two origins

1. The word means 'grace' in Greek, with important reference for us not only to the New Testament concept but to the reality of grace in our lives.

2. Charis is also the main character of the first part of Stephen Lawhead's Taliesin, one of my favorite books of all time, not a book from the literary 'canon' but one that made me fall in love with Arthurian literature and the Kingdom of Logres - a kingdom that is more than power and more than geography. It is a way of being and a way of rule.

These loves led me to other lovers of Logres, the Inklings. Charles Williams wrote a poetry cycle called Taliesin Through Logres as well as War in Heaven (a novel in which the Holy Grail is sought and found in modern England). C.S. Lewis made the renewal of Logres central in the third volume of his Ransom trilogy, That Hideous Strength. Roger Lancelyn Green collected the Arthurian legends into a story cycle called King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, in which he also centers the stories on the establishment of the Kingdom of Logres. (We read it in eighth grade at Trinity School.)

Lawhead sets his tales in ancient Celtic Brittain but does not present the tales as some sort of demythologized history of Arthur the clan leader. He keeps the spiritual significance of the druids, Christianity, and the Kingdom of Logres intact. In Taliesin, Charis is one of the fair folk who came to Brittain as refugees from the lost civilization of Atlantis.

Rhiannon is an ancient Celtic queen and wife of Pwyll from the Mabinogion, tales from which area partially retold in Merlin the second book of Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle.

Here is a guide to the pronunciation of both Charis and Rhiannon as envisioned by Lawhead in that context and illuminated by his considerable Celtic scholarship. Note, however, we are not going to insist upon (or practice) the strict Celtic pronunciation of the initial Rh. :-)

And here are some more pictures from this morning:


Jan said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your precious family with us. I'm soaking it up.

Paul & Beth said...

Congratulations Jon and Jen and family! She's a beauty. And wow, she does have long fingers. Lindsey's were like that (still are). I bet if she uncurls her toes...they are long too. I am loving checking your blog. It's a really nice way to stay in touch with far away family!

God bless your day, BEth

Jan said...

Me again. I've been enjoying the pictures again today and I must say, I don't think I've ever seen such wrinkly feet! How sweet they are.