Friday, April 18, 2014

A Poem Draft

Good Friday in the Year of Our Lord 2014

Most holy God,
the darkness shades across the sun in heartfelt sky,
and how can otherwise it be when I yelled, "Crucify!"
or how can otherwise it be when on the cross you die?
And yet you know, you voiced the secret fears,
you spoke it on the bloodstained cross of tears,
"Eli, eli, lama sabachthani," you, dying, cried;
you spoke my anguish, you spoke it as you died.
As Peter wept, and still is forced to weep
those three dark days on which entombed you sleep
as all your people scatter, wolf-scared sheep,
as them, so I, I falter, shatter, fail,
and stumble on this self-wrought path to hell,
alone, in realms no forward travels tell,
by sin destroyed, through sin entrapped, deceived,
by sin, my own, of God Himself bereaved,
and yet--
you do not cease to aid
and yet--
you a new salvation made,
are making, as you, entombed in cold and musty grave,
unleash the ancient plan -- and nations save.


A reason it has been quiet around here recently is, besides increased grading as the end of term approaches, that it is Holy Week; I helped read on Palm Sunday, I read the first reading today for Good Friday, and I will be reading at least one of the readings for Easter morning. That's a lot of preparation-heavy work. (The above was scrawled out after the service tonight.) I wasn't too worried about today's reading (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) -- I did it last year -- but it's a tricky passage and I don't think I got the pacing right last time. This time I got the pacing right, but I felt it came across as a bit bland while I was doing it. I had several people go out of their way to compliment me on it, though, which practically never happens, since the parish I attend is a tad picky about liturgical matters. I never know what to think about that, though; on the one hand, it's a great feeling of relief that you've passed the neverending exam, but on the other hand, there's always that part of me that thinks that if they are noticing you rather than the passage, you are simply doing it wrong. In any case, not much time to stop and fret about it -- on I go to Easter morning.....


  1. MrsDarwin2:53 PM

    You have a laudable reading ethic -- would that all lectors were so conscientious!

    Several months ago our deacon tapped me on the shoulder right before Mass and asked me to step in and read at the last minute -- unexpected, because I'm not actually a lector. I didn't have a chance to look over the readings beforehand, and the first one was indeed a long passage from the prophets, so I had to go with the Emergency Elocution Protocol: How would Patrick Stewart sound reading this? It's not an infallible guideline, but it can lift one over tricky rhythms very creditably.

  2. branemrys5:07 PM

    I think I am very inconsistent; but I do try to get some real practice in, and not to set a good amount of time aside to do it for Holy Week seems a little too relaxed in one's attitude.

    Reading at the last minute can be very difficult; the Emergency Elocution Protocol is probably a good way to handle it.


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