Friday, April 25, 2008

Bridegroom Matins

I've been struggling through Lent and Holy Week this year, not entirely present. I'm not sure to what I can attribute my restlessness, but it ended a couple of nights ago at Bridegroom Matins, when I suddenly remembered, amidst readings about Judas, Mary Magdalene, Jonah, the three youths in the fiery furnace, and the parable of the ten virgins etc, what Holy Week, at least, is about. Which of the virgins am I like- have I come to this Paschal season ready to receive it? I realized suddenly that the Lord has found me unprepared this year, so distracted with the struggles and the joys this year has brought. I feel as if I've come to him at the 11th hour this Lenten season.

Yet I remember also that we recently heard a reading that included the parable of the workers who were hired in the morning, the ones hired in the afternoon, and the ones hired in the evening, and how they were all received, and how they all were paid by the Master at the end of the day. Perhaps I take it a bit out of context, but I will trust that I'm not too late to receive the joy of Pascha this year.

The Bridegroom comes.

Bridegroom Matins
April 26, 2005


Early evening sunlight
danced on incense,
floated weightless
on the scent which fills all senses...

Long awaited joy
drifted into the Nave,
soundlessly permeating
the longing of the vigil keepers...

The Holy Spirit
filtered through the window,
inhabiting the prayers of the Betrothed,
eagerly awaiting fulfillment of hope;

the coming of the Bridegroom.


Early evening sunlight
filtered through the window;
played on incense,
densely floating, obscuring
wood and wax and oil
until all I saw was Heaven.

I imagined your hand,
reaching in to touch our hearts,
rewarding our
mustard-seed faithfulness,
loving those who know not
how You love,
nor how to love,
nor how one ever receives such love.

You graced our feeble prayers
with Your presence;
You always do.

Yet tonight,
I saw You steal into the Nave
on silken rays,
as the sun was westering,
gilding all around us
with golden radiance,
foreshadowing a sunless day,
a bright yet moonless night
of midnight cerulean skies
and stars which shine
for beauty’s sake,
rather than for light.


we were virgins,
trimming our lamps,
preparing for
the Bridegroom.

we felt
the joy of things to come;
our Lord
walked among us
in the Nave.

We heard
faint whisperings,
teasing our souls’ longings
for songs
we have yet to sing..

Can you hear it?

"Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.."

Our Lord, he is coming..
Our Love, he is making ready
the banquet of our wedding day.
Our Lord, He will come for us
as He promised..

May these lamps
not be found

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George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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