Thursday, 11 February 2016

For Absent Friends - A Time Past

Thomas Hardy's "Under the Greenwood Tree" recalls a time just passed - a time when the Quire sang its merry tunes from the West Gallery of a Christmas time and the Vicar tried to "modernise" by introducing the Oxford Movement. Always a pang of regret for a sweet time now lost - often sweeter in remembrance than when it was there.

And so a widowed pair head past the padlocked swings and into church for evensong.
Inside the archway,
the priest greets them with a courteous nod.
He's close to God.
Looking back at days of four instead of two.
Years seem so few (four instead of two).
Heads bent in prayer
for friends not there.
 Hold the things you love, remembering they could be lost. But the Communion of Saints says that, when you bow to pray and worship, not only are you in communion with the Divine, but you're also part of the saints through all time and all space - however wide through space that Communion one day could be scattered - to share in loving the eternal God with all those who ever looked to Jesus and said "my Lord and my God." Including friends "not there".

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