Liturgy

~

Measures tiptoe softly and crescendo, throb and drum, pulsating endemic through my veins and flare.  Disturbing my lazy insides, rousing the listless dust from my stiffened soul.  Stretching like vital, opening like clutter spilling out, these vibrations are ordered even though I am not, organizing my mess for mere moments.  Music is that beauty that worms through me like emotion, transported to my senses and I can hear.  I can smell it. I can feel.  I can taste it.  I can see.  I hum the notes softly.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost…

At birth my feet are stamped in ink and pressed.

Covered in an abundant robe, Grandpa holds my hand as I step next to him and profess.  He holds me in his arms under the warm bath and pulls me up, a resurrection–then whispers in my ears as my eyelashes drip and take a breath.  He records it on parchment in ink.

So each time I enter a classroom, step to a podium, rest in relationship, sit in solitude, there is liturgy.  In all this life the liturgy plays out in millions of microscopic and magnified ways: Prayer, and questions, and warm-ups, and drill, and books that are smelled, and paint that is brushed, and heads bowed in reverence, and hands that hold tight, and secrets whispered in the dark, and tears that splash onto fingers .

They twist my hair back, pin it with pearls, and cover it in white before I embrace a new name and become one with another.  A ritual, forever vow.

Water flows over the children as they are named and marked holy.

We sit to listen, kneel to pray, stand to sing.  Reciting the historic Creed with millions of voices.

Gather– around roasted meats, buttered potatoes, yeasty flaked rolls and herbed cubes of baked stuffing, wines and champagnes, cranberry sweetness and golden, peppered gravy.

Gather– to light candles and hang evergreen and kindle fires in December; we cross with ash, grow new life,  and wave branches in Hallelujah come spring. And then we live life aloud through the warm months, sharing freely and passing wine and bread around tables with laughter and prayer, summertime green and blue and sun.

And in the in between there are keys that turn into locks on thresholds, and the birthing of infants screaming into their world and swaddled in cotton, food and game and drink together with dear ones, singing Our Father to tender ears and eyes and hands,

My heart is cold and covered callous, until I recall all these things: a snapshot of my thirty five years, flashing before my eyes when I lie awake in my bed, unable to rest. All of these liturgies, all of this life, that plays itself out in motion and visibility, that is real and can be touched, that seeps deep into me and changes me and I look upward.  Falling onto my knees in warm embrace.

And do this as a remembrance, break and eat, drink this cup

Love suffers long, and is kind,

present these selves as living sacrifice, transformed in mind,

I thank God for all of you, Beloved I have you in my heart,

may our love abound more to the end,

behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us,

 Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, I AM,

as we do all these things through Him who strengthens us,

blessed are those who are poor, those who mourn, those who are pure in heart, for they shall see God,

faith is the substance of things hoped for and of things unseen,

He gives grace to the humble,

Rise up and walk.

Grace and Peace.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world with out end. Amen.

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