“We come to share our story, we come to break the bread, we come to know our rising from the dead.” Thus, we raise our voices together in song; declaring the simple, powerful truth behind this gathering of the faithful. The scent of incense transports us back to childhood — to Masses in a language that only our spirits comprehended — to centuries before this, that we can only “remember” through the passing down of ritual and tradition orally and on some miraculous cellular level that we cannot begin to grasp.
We stoop to wash one another’s feet; we relinquish our pride and offer our feet to be washed. Our voices acknowledge that, “Truly the presence of the Lord is in this place…”
We are safe. We are comfortable. We are unconditionally loved, resonating in body, mind and spirit as one harmonious chord. Some of the choir members slip out of the group to lead us down the long, dim corridor to the Table of Reservation; still singing, now, “Oo-oo-oo… Adoramus Te Domine.” Some stay behind, to lead the chant for those who file out last.
And somewhere, in the middle of that corridor, there is a moment of tentativeness… a discordance of sorts, as the song leaders in the back are too far behind and the ones in the distance are too far ahead, and we lose our sense of direction and comfort momentarily. But we move forward, forward, together, and the gentle rhythm of the chant draws us back in unison as we enter the candle-lit sanctuary and drop to our knees, bowing our heads and keeping vigil with the Lord as the cantor’s voice envelopes our hearts with the compelling imagery of the song, “How Beautiful..”
Perhaps this is the message of life’s many transitions — from hardship to resolution; confusion to clarity; life to death — in that dimly-lit corridor of discomfort, we walk the wobbly bridge between that which we know, and that which we hope for. Perhaps this is faith; moving forward with trust.
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