Festival Procession of Amon Ra

Oil on canvas. 30 x 102cm. 1997


On certain festival days the priests and priestesses leave the temple to journey through the land carrying a sacred barque on which is placed an effigy of the god in his shrine. The ram heads on the barque are symbols of Amon Ra. The priests wearing the masks of Horus and Anubis represent the Souls of Pe and the Souls of Nekhen. The king purifies the way by burning incense and sprinkling a libation. The procession is led by the Setem priest who wears a panther skin which identifies his priestly position. He is followed by two priests, one reading (chanting) from a scroll, the other carrying cloths with which to adorn the god. The three priestesses, carrying the heavenly scented lotus blossoms, menit beads, tamborine and sistrum, make music to accompany the liturgy.


The first passage is part of the Hymn to Amon Ra, the text is selected from E A Wallis Budge, "An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Reading Book" (Dover. 1993). The section with the king and boat has some of my own construction and some from Rosalie David's "Guide to Religious R itual at Abydos" (Aris & Phillips Ltd. 1981.)

Transliteration and translation of SECTION ONE

DwA imn-ra it nTr.w

"Praise Amon-Ra, Father of the Gods,

nb ns.w.t tA.wy xnty ipt-swt

Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, Foremost at Karnak.

nb mAa.t imn kAr=f

Lord of Truth whose shrine is hidden,

nb siA Hw tp r-f

Lord of Wisdom, Authority is the utterance of his mouth.

i iwny nb psDntyw Hb

O, Iwny, Lord of the new moon festival

iri.n sn.t Hb

who made the six-day festival,

dni.t Hb

and the festival of the last quarter of the moon.

mr.tw=k sS.ty xt tA.wy

You are one who is loved when passing through the two lands.

iw nfr.w=k Hr iTi.t ib.w

Thy beauties carry away hearts.

nTr.w Xr-abA m hnw

The gods of Kher-aba rejoice.

imy.w xmw m sn-tA

Those who dwell in the shrine make obesience (kiss the earth)

mAA=sn sw wsr m sxm=f

when they see him strong in his power.

Xn.n=f ib.w pa.t

The hearts of mankind go forth to him.

any.n=f Hnmm.t

The sunfolk of Heliopolis turn to him.

sHb(=f) tA.wy m pri.w=f

He makes festal the two lands with his coming forth.

mr.tw=k imn-ra

You are one who is loved Amon-Ra,

nb ns.w.t tA.wy

Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands."


Dd mdw in nsw nb tA.wy

Words spoken by the king, Lord of the two Lands,

nb-mAat-ra Di anx

Neb-Maat-Ra, given eternal life.

sA ra nb xa.w

Son of Ra, Lord of Risings,

imn-Htp-HqA-wAs.t mi ra Dt

Amon-Hotep, governer of Thebes, like Ra for eternity.

iw wab imn-ra m qbH.wpn

"Pure is Amon-Ra with this libation

pr=f m nnw

which comes forth from Nun.

wab n=k mw iai=f [Tw]

Pure for thee is the water which washes thee.

ii snTr n=k DbA=f [Tw]

The incense comes towards thee, it adorns thee.

snTr wab nDm n sT

The pure incense, sweet of perfume,

nty xft sS.w n Dhwty

which is in accordance with the writings of Thoth

nty m pr n nTr sS

which is in the House of Sacred Writings."

pri wiA n imn-ra m Hwt-nTr

The barque of Amon-Ra comes forth from the temple

Sas xt tA.wy

to journey through the two lands.

DwA imn-ra it nTr.w

Praise Amon-Ra, Father of the Gods.

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