The Pilgrimage

Epiphany, Laurens, 10-6-19

Every Sunday, I make this journey,
swathed in seasonally embroidered color,
from the aisle’s head to the altar
having passed, at the sound of organ chord,
through the parted sea of rising waves of chanting fellow-pilgrims
previously on their knees in dutiful supplication.

Do we lift our voices in prayer and song
assuming to summon the coming of the Lord
or do we pray and sing,
for the Lord already, aye, alway is here?


Photograph: main aisle, Epiphany Episcopal Church, Laurens, South Carolina

2 thoughts on “The Pilgrimage

  1. Paul,

    I wonder how many times you’ve walked down an aisle in church during your decades of ministry. For me, I know that God is always and already there before a service starts, but it’s for me a way to simply acknowledge God’s presence and more specifically to recognize the many Blessings that God has brought to my life.

    It works the same for me, and maybe even enhances my recognition of God being EVERYWHERE when I’m out in nature.

    Much love!


  2. Hmmm, how many times have I walked down a church aisle in over 40 years? Truly, I’ve lost count.

    With this poem, I, with you, trust that God already is present, which is why I ended with the (self-evident-and-self-replying) question. Sometimes I wonder – and this is the subject of a future poem – whether we humans, in our liturgies, no matter how well-intended, domesticate God, that is, perceive and worship a God of our own imagining. I suppose in our human limitations that we cannot help ourselves, both consciously and unconsciously, but to conceive of God in our own image. Thus, there is always the need, I think, for us to undergo the reformation of second-guessing ourselves, by faith, trusting that as we renounce our perceptions of the Divine (that is, proverbially, leaving the door open to our hearts and souls) that God will enter in us more fully.

    Love always


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