Thursday, November 06, 2014

Litany for the dead

The ordo today called for the Office of the Dead, it's the memorial for the dead of the Augustinian Order.  There were only six of us at prayer today (yesterday it was a dozen, one day last week there were just two of us), and we kept the office plain.   At the intercessions the prior asked us to simply say the names of deceased Augustinians we wished to remember.

The names dropped into the center, between the two sides of the choir, arising like incense between the altar and tabernacle.  My two-decades gone spiritual director, the priest who came out late one night to anoint Tom, my mother's friend of sixty years who died this last spring.  The names.  Men I never knew.  Men I shared prayer with for years.  Gone before us, marked with the sign of faith.


  1. Michelle, this moved me deeply. We don't know these people personally and yet we are one in Christ. What an incredible thought! And I weep in gratitude for the communion of saints.

    1. Lynda, it moved me as well, as much for the chance to say aloud names lost to time, but not to memory, as for the sense of how we are interlocking stones, overlapping for brief moments, built into a temple for God.

      I enjoyed, too, the sharing of stories at the end as people asked about the names.