Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11: Liturgies and Prayers

In the end, I was glad that the 10th anniversary of September 11 fell on a Sunday.  It was good to spend some time grounded in liturgy and prayer.  It amazed me that all the lectionary readings revolved around forgiveness, even though they had been chosen long before the events of September 11, 2001.

I didn't expect all the wearing of red, white, and blue, all the flags on shirts, all the pins.  Happily, our pastor kept a tight rein on worship planning, so we didn't have to sing "God Bless America" or any of the other patriotic songs that just don't belong in a worship service.

I was a communion assistant, and although my eyes were still a bit watery, I was able to hold it together.  There was one moment when I poured the wine and said, "The blood of Christ, shed for you."  My mind raced to all the people who had given up their lives trying to save others, but I pulled my brain back from that place.

I still found yesterday to be tough.  I expected it to be tough, but it was tougher than I expected, with all those stories of loss.  I didn't turn on the television, but those stories still found their way to me.  I kept trying to use those stories of loss to remind myself of how lucky I am:  most of the people I love are still alive and healthy.  But eventually, that won't be the case. 

I'm haunted by losses I haven't experienced yet.  In many ways, I always have been.  Days like yesterday make it harder to escape that premonition of loss.  But liturgy, prayer, and sacrament made me feel a bit better.

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