Pilgrimpace's Blog


advent journey – oriens

My friend Carrie has reminded me that I asked her to write a reflection on the Antiphon O Oriens which is recited at Evening Prayer today.  It’s been weighing on her for ten or fifteen years, but today she has written and I think it is worth sharing.  I’m also really glad to have found the excuse for a good conversation about poetry with my friend Sammy this afternoon – a real antidote to nearly-Christmas tiredness.

Oriens

I should be doing useful things,
Like putting up the tree.
Or ironing linens, polishing pews,
Braving the bloody battle lines
So we can actually eat on the 25th.

Instead, I am reading old Christmas card greetings
From someone I’ve never met;
Wandering, haphazard, tear-stained,
Into starlight and sheepdogs and poetry.

This is no time for verse –
At least not for prevenient Parsons like me,
Who have Strepsils to suck,
And no schedule for sentimentality

(or the Gospel).

And yet, just occasionally, the morning star rises,
Unexpectantly, improbably, through everyday things,
To make us stop and feel.

It happened today, that brightness dawning
Through the pages of a little book
By a middle-aged dropout called U.

And the Kingdom was born anew.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love this, “nearly Christmas tiredness” is a description of me!
No schedule for sentimentality (or the gospel) made me cry.

Comment by revdamanda

thanks Amanda – it’s very true for us I think

Comment by pilgrimpace




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