small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

beautiful liturgy

on November 7, 2013

Monday’s small thing: witnessing beautiful liturgy

This week has been a time of remembering those who have gone before us, with All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day being November 1st and 2nd, respectively.

I love that the Church celebrates these special days. It’s not that we ever forget the Saints and the souls of the faithful departed, but I truly believe there is something very important about being intentional in their memory. 

My parish had a Mass of Remembrance on Monday evening. I had mom come sing with me in the choir for the liturgy, and it was beyond priceless. The readings spoke deeply to my heart and the songs I felt were written just for us that day. With Dad’s passing so recent, we definitely had raw emotions. After going through all the tissues we brought we had to extend into the box in the choir loft, but we weren’t the only ones touched.

Several members of the choir have been mourning the loss of loved ones this year. Even though it stinks to have this common experience, it is definitely comforting to get a genuine hug from someone who truly knows what you’re going through.

I am so thankful for the Word of God that was shared at the mass, and the beautiful hymns that soothed the soul. And knowing that Dad was most definitely present at the sharing of the Eucharist. Even though I’m deeply hurt and sad that Dad was taken from us too soon, I truly believe that God has been and will be with us always.

I still struggle with the ‘why’. I probably always will. For now, though, I’m going to choose to believe in God’s love and mercy and that he is taking care of my daddy and they both are watching over all of us.

Here are the first two readings from the Mass of Remembrance. I hope you can find some comfort in these words as I did. 

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,

and no torment shall touch them.

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;

and their passing away was thought an affliction

and their going forth from us, utter destruction.

But they are in peace.

For if to others, indeed, they seem punished,

yet is their hope full of immortality;

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,

because God tried them

and found them worthy of himself.

As gold in the furnace, he proved them,

and as sacrificial offerings* he took them to himself.

In the time of their judgment* they shall shine

and dart about as sparks through stubble;

They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,

and the LORD shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth,

and the faithful shall abide with him in love:

Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,

and his care is with the elect.

         –Wisdom 3:1-9

 

 

For we know that if our earthly dwelling,

 a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,

for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.

Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away.

For we must all appear* before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

            -2 Corinthians 5:1,6-10

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2 responses to “beautiful liturgy

  1. Kathy Flentie says:

    Kari, I’m so thankful you and Nancy were together to share your experience at Mass. The mother daughter bond that you two share is amazing. The wonderful aspect of that bond is that distance does not break it. I have a friend who I grew up with and he is an only child. At church, I sat with him on Sunday (he has now lost both parents.) However, directly in front of us were two widows. Lucille lost Bill last January, and Holly lost George in August. Both were in long suffering illnesses and used Hospice. Of course, I was thinking of and praying for you and your family and then Holly really started crying. I leaned forward and put my hand on her shoulder. She knew I was behind her and without turning around, she just reached up and grabbed my hand and squeezed it. Lucille (whose husband had passed months earlier) was trying to console and comfort Holly, too. We light a candle as each name is read with a date of passing. Unfortunately, our altar was full of candles at the conclusion of the reading. We are all connected in both sorrow and joy. Going through a tragedy does in fact, strengthen our relationships with one another. I guess maybe that is because we all realize how truly fragile life is at such difficult time. After communion, we then read the names of all the new babies and the dates they were born and light a candle for them, too. Without losing an immediate family member, it was a difficult service. I can only begin to imagine how hard it is on those of you directly touched by death. Your descriptive writing makes us all feel as though we were right there with you. You have such a gift for sharing your emotions and thoughts. God bless you as you continue on this new path to walk because I’m sure it is not one that you wanted to follow. Continued love and prayers to all of you. Love, Kathy

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  2. Anonymous says:

    That was beautiful, Kari! I, too, thought of you and your family when they read your dad’s name at mass. Some people say that our church is out-dated, old fashioned, or out-of-touch. However, I find so much comfort in the timeless beauty of her ancient prayers and traditions. Those gifts directly CONNECT us to those that have gone before us, those with whom we continue the journey, and in some mystical way, with ALL of the Body of Christ! I can’t begin to understand it, but I believe it with all of my heart.
    Thank you for sharing your gift of words with us. What a legacy you will one day leave for your children, just as your dad has left for you! God Bless. Love, Anne

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