Friday, May 27, 2016

"With the weight of my sin and this crushing unbelief"

From near the beginning, Christians have observed Fridays as a day of Penance. If every Sunday is a "little" Easter, then each Friday is a "little" Good Friday. Morning Prayer for Fridays begins with Psalm 51, known as the Miserere:
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
(Ps 51:3-4)
Every Friday I try to spend at least a few minutes before the Blessed Sacrament. Lest you think me too holy, trying means I sometimes don't make it.

Convent Chapel, St. Olaf Parish, Bountiful, Utah

One of my favorite recent Christian albums is Ten Avenues North's 2009 (not that recent, I know) Over and Underneath. When I think of going into Christ's presence their song "Hallelujah," a track on this album, comes to mind. So, "Hallelujah is our Friday traditio for the Friday between Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi, also known, at least this year, as the Eighth Friday in Ordinary Time, or, each year, as the Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury.

Driving to the chapel, I often I listen to "Hallelujah." The chapel, which attaches our parish rectory to the parish office building, was formerly the convent chapel of the Sisters of Charity. They served in our parish for many years but left a few years ago and now serve at the only other parish in Davis County, Utah. They visit frequently and we have the Ladies of Charity in the parish, laywomen who participate in their charism.

My only qualm with "Hallelujah" goes to the heart of Catholic/Protestant issues concerning soteriology. To wit: I believe he blood of the Lamb does not cover our sins, it washes us. Nonetheless, we can rejoice together and bear witness, singing: "Hallelujah for the blood of the Lamb that was slain."

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