I pray so…

Sometimes I wonder…

Epiphany, Laurens, SC, facade

What happens in that place
that sacred space,
ages ago built with care
to house the ecclesia,
“the people called out”
from the world
to worship

What happens before and after the Sunday morn-hour
of song and sermon,
Eucharist and prayer?

What happens there?

Do the spiritual bones and bodies
of the olden saints
long gone, but ne’er forgotten,
neither in the mind of God
nor earthen corporate memory,
resume their bygone places
in the pews?

Do their calls, their cries of supplication
rise from the floor
upon which, in times yore,
their feet had trod
spring…sound from the walls
with still-held (to eternity’s breast)
petitions and intercessions of things left undone
through the rafters breeze,
as orisons new,
in keeping with the sorrows and joys of now?

And all to confirm:
“O Lord, Thou Who alway art our dwelling-place,(1)
e’er abide in this sacred space
where we found and met,
loved and worshiped Thee
and, in glory, do Thee still.”

I pray so.



(1) A reference to Psalm 90.1

Photograph (September 23, 2015): The house of worship of the Christian community of Epiphany Episcopal Church, Laurens, SC; the present-day company of which I am privileged to serve as priest-in-charge.


2 thoughts on “I pray so…

  1. This is fabulous!! I absolutely have wondered what goes on!! Some of my most memorable time in church is when no one else is there. For most of my adult life, I’ve had keys to the sanctuary / nave as if I have a personal key to God’s house. I go in, and it’s silent. I leave the lights out, and sit…. with God. The door is locked behind me so no one else can enter. I can cry, laugh, scream etc… and no one knows but me and God! I love it! When I leave the church, I truly wonder what happens after I go. It was silent when I was there, but what else happens? I am moved when the choir sings an amazing song, or the preacher preaches an incredible sermon, what really is is most moving for me is being alone in church – alone with gone!! Thanks for raising this Paul and allowing us to reflect!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Loretta. Yes, there is something wondrously beatific, I think…I feel about entering and dwelling, even for a moment, in an empty church building. As for what goes on…enters in absent of human presence, I cannot say. Yet I imagine. Under the heading of that great image of the “great cloud of witnesses” (Epistle to the Hebrews), I conceive of the olden saints appearing and praying. I also think of Jesus’ response to the leaders of Jerusalem, who, on the occasion of his entry into the city, demanded that Jesus silence his cheering disciples – “If they be quiet, these very stones would cry out!” As inanimate stone can shout praise of God, so, too, do I surely believe all the saints who die in the Lord.


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