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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

And Why Will Saving the Liturgy Save the World?

Should I confess, I always thought Dana Gioia was a woman?
There will always be those who reject ceremony...
And they are right. Symbols betray us.
They are always more or less than what
is really meant. But shall there be no
processions by torchlight because we are weak?
What native speech do we share, but imperfection? ...
Praise to the rituals that celebrate change,
old robes worn for new beginnings,
solemn protocol where the mutable soul,
surrounded by ancient experience,
grows young in the imagination’s white dress.

Because it is not the rituals we honor
but our trust in what they signify, these rites
that honor us as witnesses—whether to watch
lovers swear loyalty in a careless world
or a newborn washed with water and oil....
let the old be touched by youth's
wayward astonishment at learning something new,
and dream of a future so fitting and so just
that our desire will bring it into being.

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