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Parsifal

Summary of Act 3(3)


G urnemanz, now an aged hermit, once again finds the sleeping Kundry, still and apparently lifeless, in the undergrowth near his hut. As he revives her, a strange knight, in full armour and carrying a spear, approaches. Gurnemanz reproaches him for bearing arms on this most holy of days, Good Friday. Then he recognises the sacred spear and the knight as the boy who had once killed a swan. Parsifal describes his long and weary wanderings in search of Monsalvat. The hermit reveals that the Community of the Grail has long been in decay, since Amfortas refuses to uncover the chalice, and Titurel has died. Parsifal laments that he had arrived too late to save him. Kundry's baptism in Act III of the New Bayreuth production by Wieland Wagner

G urnemanz and Kundry help him to remove his armour. Today shall Parsifal bring healing to the Grail King and take over his office and duties. Gurnemanz first baptizes Parsifal with holy water and then anoints him as King while Kundry washes his feet. In return, as the first duty in his new role, Parsifal baptises her and kisses her on her forehead. She weeps. Parsifal gazes upon the beauty of the spring meadows. The hermit tells him that this is the magic of Good Friday, when all creation gives thanks. The tolling of distant bells summon them to the funeral rites of Titurel.

In the hall of the Grail Castle, all is gloom and despair. The knights, long deprived of the divine nourishment, are barely alive and approach Amfortas threateningly. Amfortas begs them end his suffering by taking his life. Parsifal, followed by Kundry and Gurnemanz, strides into the centre of the hall and touches Amfortas' wound with the sacred spear, declaring him healed and relieved of his duties. He returns the spear, which begins to bleed. Parsifal orders that the Grail shall be uncovered and raises it aloft as the knights, including Amfortas, kneel in homage. Kundry falls dead at his feet.


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