For Heaven’s Sake

On Trinity Sunday, I attended a Church in Wales (Anglican) Communion service with my ninety year old father. There were seven in the congregation. The church sanctuary was somewhat unloved. We capably sang rousing Victorian hymns without organ, choir or recorded accompaniment.

Before the communion, I had been asked to do the reading from Proverbs 8. For some reason, as i read the last few verses i nearly started crying…why would be hard to answer.

Was it the small elderly congregants dogged loyalty, the humble retired bishop leading the service, the presence of my elderly father (and walking stick) – or the engaging words of Proverbs 8….?

____________________________________

St Brynach’s Church, Henry’s Moat, Dyfed, Wales

communion

Purple robed priest blessed bread and wine

last supper imitation, six people dined:

all kneeled at shaky wooden altar rail

supped with saviour, once pinion nailed.

 

Hymns firmly sung without organ or choir,

angels seemed absent, no tongues afire;

empty most pews, cobwebbed and dusty,

little heat lacquered cool church air musty.

 

My father’s fingers followed the phrases

his adventurous life has had many phases;

now needing help to stand for prayers,

God-numbered his grey, significant hair.

 

“I was there when heavens set in place,

before moon was given a reflective face;

when sea was given beach boundary line,

rejoicing world delighted much in mankind…”

 

Liturgical books to entrance table returned,

snuffed candles, timeless truths relearned;

slowly we exited from typical church-scape:

thirty minutes set aside for heaven’s sake.

 

Long grass tickle-fringed Victorian graves,

crooked slate stones, carved hopes brave;

hearts and minds blessed, God is good:

birdsong greeted, bees sucking buds.

____________________________________

Proverbs 8: 23 

I was formed long ages ago,

at the very beginning, when the world came to be.

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2 thoughts on “For Heaven’s Sake

  1. Thanks, Louis, for sharing this. Very moving. My own father turns 90 this month (the ever present walking stick). My step-mother, an artist, just passed away and I was privileged to deliver a eulogy for her. ( https://devo140.com) So much reflection lately of age and the presence of God in every single moment of our lives.

    Like

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