Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Requiem for a Priest

January 12, 2008. I go to Concord for the funeral Mass of Father Szala, a retired priest of our diocese. There are three bishops present and presiding as Father Christian celebrates the Requiem Mass with all due solemnity. There is sadness, but yet there is joy, as we gather with our departed brother priest for one more Mass . . . January 16, a poem emerges . . .

Father Szala

In an urn before the throne
the earthly remnants lie,
as smoke of incense fills the air,
and candles cast a gentle gleam,
and bishops lay their pointed hats aside,
while, at their bidding Father says the words,
and takes the bread and lifts the cup,
and leads us all across the veil,
to kneel before the awesome sacrifice,
where at the Cross all time is joined,
and distance makes a bar no more,
but where, before the Lamb once slain that lives,
we who walk the earth are one
with angels and with saints now gone before,
and, though we bid our brother priest farewell,
there is no truly final separation,
for at the Cross the veil is thin,
and at this Mass, though sadness is upon us,
there is joy because we know it.

-------------------ed pacht, Rochester NH

1 comment:

Fr_Rob said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem, Ed.