Sine nomine

We sang it on Friday at day-fall,
The lusty old tune without a name
To celebrate the singular circumincession
Of work, life, and friendship that ensign the saints
These three are one in all who are one in Him
Including a violent son-of-a-bitch
trapped inside the body of Christ
Who doesn’t look a whole lot like a saint
All clad in bright array
(Unless you mean the neckties)
But holiness is rough-hewn and sanctity supple stuff
They might not feebly struggle now, but they did
Named to us and nameless,
none are not known

We sang it again today at the procession
To end a holy triduum of holy fools
We handed you over to them today, Oliver
And got you back, more and less our boy
At the corner of Charlotte and Macon
Where hangs a paint-splattered Christ
Vandalized, or consecrated, or both
By some drunk hippie on Halloween
Who didn’t know what he was doing
Or perhaps some nameless saint like the others
who didn’t either, but who,
fearing the Lord, fear nothing else

But we never know less than when
We think we know what we are doing or saying
Like what became of you today, over the font
You didn’t know what we were doing
Or what we thought we were doing
But maybe you did—more, much more than we
Because you laughed
And didn’t stop

You, we pray, will grow into the vows we made
with all the difficult rest
For you cannot promise to God without difficulty
Or without friends, whether you like them or not

And I—
I hope to grow into the joy you have today
To grow into the expanse of your smile and
To become like you, an enfleshed alleluia
Like the ones who shook the mighty world
Who stole upon the ears of the serious
And still do

You made Henry and Charlie more than brothers
Today at the corner of Macon and Charlotte
Keep that vandal body before you always, dear boys
The king of glory passes by this way

Yes, alleluia.





One comment

  1. Shannon says:

    Through the tears I read your powerful words commemorating that glorious day of Oliver’s baptism. As he approached the font, his smile, laughter and infectious joy filled that holy place and the hearts of all blessed to be there. It was as if he saw and was in the total presence of the Holy One and Only🙏

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