Introductory Rites

The first of a series of fourteen sonnets on the Catholic Mass

The Lord be with you—And with your spirit.
On God, my whale, for sinful minnows fishing,
Through my most grievous wail, winnowed faults strip
Away the rust, reeling poetry’s sheen.

Advertisement

To celebrate the sacred mysteries
I nail the liturgy’s words on my tongue.
Reclaim the pain of these metaphors
To birth in blood: Kyrie, eleison.

Too full of grace, she breaks Man’s No
With Yes. The Virgin crushes Eve’s origin:
All sin erased. Fruit poisoned, now blessed, to
Replant seed in sacred ground for all kin.

You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on earth.
You take away the sins of the world, receive our rebirth.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Liturgy

The latest from america

Psychedelics can blur the line between science and spirituality—but Christian mysticism cannot be studied.
Terrance KleinJanuary 17, 2019
The extensive New York Times series in support of legal abortion unfolds as if the last 46 years of the abortion debate following Roe v. Wade never happened and did not need to.
​Helen AlvaréJanuary 17, 2019
In 1983, Sri Lanka descended into a bitter and prolonged ethnic conflict. Harry Miller, S.J., then almost 60, was thrust into a new role as witness, advocate, intermediary and protector not only for his students but for anyone in Batticaloa who sought his help.
Jeannine GuthrieJanuary 17, 2019
I have found that praying 15 minutes every day is an important form of self-care.
Michael R. Lovell January 16, 2019