Sunday, September 12, 2010

Liturgy

Going back to church will be hard- though I'd like to at some point.  It will probably have to be a different kind of church.

In talking to other widows, I've noticed a similarity- they feel most comfortable at a liturgical service or Catholic mass- one even converted to Catholicism.  This makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons.  When you experience this kind of loss- the kind where you can be certain of nothing anymore- what you will crave is something that has been standing for hundreds and thousands of years.  Liturgy.

Liturgy, though it seemed horribly boring as a child growing up in a Lutheran church full of white-haired people in hard pews, is desirable at a time like this.  In fact, it's the only thing that will do.  I don't want something that will bend to popular culture and try to appeal to "today's society."  I don't want giant smiling faces to greet me, or loud rock music and clapping.  I need something that acknowledges sorrow as an integral part of this journey, something somber, worship music with minor chords.  I want what has somehow lasted for centuries- not because it was appealing- but for some other reason.  I want the order and ritual of words said by thousands around the world.

I remember when we had first met, you told me that you'd mostly always thought of God as holy and to be revered- and weren't really able to think of Him as friend or even father- the aspects that many modern "Christian" churches emphasize.  It had a lot to do with Korean culture, we thought- that has so much reverence for elders stemming from older practices of ancestor worship possibly.  But that is the God I will go to now if I can- the one that is all-powerful and to be feared.  I am not looking for a buddy or a friend right now.   I need someone who can go up against death itself...and win.

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