Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day of Remberance

Icon of the Crucifixion of the Lord.  Joan Brand-Landkamer, Cathedral Iconographer

Ten years ago today, a thousand people spontaneously gathered in St. James Cathedral to share their shock and grief at the day’s terrible events, and to seek comfort in the communal outpouring of prayer.  Today we gathered again to remember that day.  The shock was lessened, but the grief was still raw and intense.  In the opening hymn, we asked “That, redeemed from war and hatred, all may come and go in peace.”  However, running though the scriptural readings and Father Ryan’s homily were  reminders of the need for, and prayers for, forgiveness.  In the Gospel,  Jesus tells Peter that he must not forgive only seven times, but seventy times seven times.  I am thinking that this goes for us too, and not just Peter.

The music, The St James Mass for Peace, was even more perfect than I could have imagined – from the still small whisper to the  clanging thunder of our voices raised in prayers.  But most moving of all, was the silence – the silence as the Mass ended and faithful exited the Cathedral, each holding a lighted candle, and uttering not a word.  

Thanks to Maria Laughlin for photos


Marta said...

Thanks Joanna. This is a perfect review of the mass.
The wonder of the music is not surprising.The stillness of the assembly.....something else.

FugueStateKnits said...

What a beautiful service! I believe we follow the same Lectionary, so our gospel reading was the same:) I went to a couple of services in addition to the regular Mass. The first was yesterday afternoon; the second at another Episcopal church nearby. That second service was very small, but very meaningful- and included prayers from the New and Old Testaments and the Quran. The theme of course was forgiveness and the challenge of how to do it. One of the priests told a story about a young woman and her conversation with God about the Lord's Prayer. When she got to the part about forgiveness and wrestled with God a bit, one line of the discussion went something like this:
"How do you want your forgiveness - with or without forgetting? I tell you what, you forgive your brother and I will forget about all the times you didn't follow Me."

Laura said...

This morning on the radio,Dave Ross who attended the mass yesterday played an audio clip of Father Ryan talking about forgivness..'seventy times seven times'.