Life in the in-between

An adolescent woman in an alb stands ahead of me, long red-brown hair pulled back, processional cross in her hands. In the semi-darkness of the flickering torches she appears captivated by this moment. We stand in a silent line in this little slice of time, the moment of waiting for the organ prelude to end, the moment before we will follow this young standard bearer in the bright light of the center aisle. I remember what it was like to be her so clearly. It’s long ago now, but I recall the rush, the sense of something burning inside me like it was yesterday. Those were teenage Sunday mornings when getting out of bed was worth it, when there was a strong yet unrecognizable call as I walked at the head of the procession or held cruets of water and wine in my hands.

I am farther back in the waiting queue. I am literally and figuratively a person in between. Standing there, watching the teenagers ahead of me, I am once again stunned that I am in the seminarian’s place. I walk by myself, someone that doesn’t have to be assigned a task to be in the altar party, someone in the process of becoming. It strikes me as so strange, this in between time. Not an acolyte, not an officiant or celebrant. Just a seminarian. One who will be but is not yet. Ahead of me is an icon of where I’ve been; behind me, vested in stole and chasuble, an icon of where I’m going.

It is darker behind me, the lights of the sacristy having been turned off as a signal to the organist, and the strongest light comes from the torches ahead of me. It seems fitting that I can barely see the priests, those who embody the world I am becoming more and more a part of every day. I sense more than see them waiting, silent in heavy red and purple textiles over their albs. It is fitting, for although they are somewhat the shape of my future, what that means is not clear. It is not yet in focus. In the flickering light I can see where I’ve been, but I’m still discovering where I’m going.

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~ by Sophia on December 10, 2007.

2 Responses to “Life in the in-between”

  1. This is a beautiful post!

  2. I love your blog! Sometimes you help articulate what can be difficult.Sometimes, like today, you help me remember why we do this.

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