Friday, August 31, 2007

Goodbye to Summer

On my way home yesterday i sat on the Kingston/Edmonds ferry reading my book when i looked up and saw a woman and her child standing outside on the deck, enjoying the sunshine. I felt compelled to put the book away (rarity) and take the stairs to the top of the glad i was a perfect summer day - sunshine, little wind and calm water...i tend to be a bit melancholy at this point in the season - i want to savor the last bit of summer but i don't want it to leave. i don't want change, even though i love autumn. Maybe it's because there was so little summer to be had this year for us Northwesterners........but whatever the reason i'm glad i crawled out of my head where i spend way too much of my time for that half hour of heaven onboard the walla walla!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Dominus Vobiscum

In the catholic church of my youth the mass was always celebrated in Latin. I can still recall some of the phrases used by the priest who had his back to us. "Kyrie Eleison" and "In nomine Patris, et Filii, + et Spiritus Sancti. Amen." are two that i remember but the most familiar would be "dominus vobiscum" to which we would reply, "et cum spiritu tuo" a kid i thought we were saying etcum spirit 2-2-0!!!! ("the lord be with you" & "and also with you")...

So why am i writing about this? because i long for fresh views of what these prayers mean that we find in the liturgy. As a child they were rote and spoken in a dead language but in my new home of the Episcopal church the collect is read by the celebrant before the readings of the day. I recently picked up a book of collect prayers in a used bookstore and was amazed by how beautiful they were and read that "collective prayer is an inclusive event". I'm still learning what that might mean but i found it interesting that there is more than one translation for the exchange that occurs before the collect. In the catholic church which used latin, DOMINUS VOBISCUM did sound a bit like a spell out of a harry potter book! Besides "the Lord be with you" which connotes something that will happen in the future i discovered that it can be translated as "the Lord IS with you" or better yet "the Lord is HERE, His Spirit is with us." And i need to know that God is here, right now, in this place...and when the celebrant ends with "let us pray" before the reading of the collect i will be thinking "collective prayer"...we're all in this together!