November 02, 2008

Music, Muertos, and Matriarchs

Whew. The Nurse and I got about 12 hours of sleep last night. Thats exactly how wiped out we were. We used our extra hour very constructively as Daylight Savings Time ended. Oh how we love our bed....

At Mass this morning, our parish traditionally sets up an ofrenda to Celebrate the dual holidays of All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos. The names of those that have died this year are read. The Nurse and I both placed mementos and pictures of our loved ones on the altar and dwelt in their presence on this day when the veil between life and death are thin.

Later we went to see the ever-lovely J (aka The Closet Choir-Girl) perform with The Apollo Chorus of Chicago at a local church. She's kept her talent hidden from us all for too long. Her secret is out now. The Closet Choir-Girl is an amazing singer! There were a few key moments when the music moved me to tears and I felt chills come over my whole body. Particularly beautiful and meaningful on this day, the final movement of Requiem, In Rememberance:

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight-ripened grain,
I am the gentle morning rain.
And when you wake in the morning’s hush,
I am the sweet uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.


I've just got to say a little more about the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordination ceremony that I attended yesterday afternoon. As a woman and as a Catholic (with pagan leanings mind you), it was edifying and soul-enriching to see so many ordained women at the altar and in the congregation! Not only those that con-celebrated the Mass, but those that traveled from all over the country and world to be a part of this historic event. The most powerful moments were when the ordinands prostrated themselves as the Litany of the Saints was sung and when the selected members of the community were asked to come forward for a Laying on of Hands. Because I was in the choir, I was just feet away watching all of this unfold, and there was one moment when Barbara Zeman was overcome with tears as one ordained woman came forward and lightly touched her head. It's as if I could actually see the Spirit transferring from one woman to another. Very powerful. It all seemed so perfect and natural (right down to the praying to "Our Father and Mother for the Lord's Prayer) that it's hard to wrap my mind around what a truly historic event this was. But more than historic, this was an act of disobedience that I was happy to play a role in. Our church remains in a state of hypocrisy as long as it refuses to acknowledge the call of women to the priesthood and Holy Orders. We must continue to disobey and challenge the patriarchy until we right this wrong. Being there made it clear to me that there is a paradigm shift on the wind. And it's blowing toward Rome, whether they like it or not.

1 comment:

David said...

Thanks for elaborating on the ordination event. I think part of its historicity is in the numbers: if we have more and more of these ordinations of women, eventually something will have to give. And hopefully it would be the Church "seeing the light." Let me know when, and I mean *when* the next one is.

And yes, I am in the closet, mostly, about my, shhhh, choir, right? :)