27 October 2019
The Edge of Elfland
Concord, New Hampshire
For the last six months my parish, Christ the King parish in Concord, NH, has been celebrating Mass in a tent. Our 150 year building has been receiving some much needed renovation. When we return in two weeks, it will have a new roof, new floor, new (to us) pews, and will be magnificently filled with beautiful art. I have been fortunate, since my wife works for the parish, to go in and see the progress. Sometimes too she will send me pictures as she sneaks in. Even though the renovations will not be finished when we move back in, I believe we will all be floored by how beautiful our building is.
Still, I will miss the raised tent we have been journeying in for the last six months. We have gotten to know each other just a little better. There is no hiding in the tent, we all must confront one another eventually. I pray we don’t lose the greater sense of community we have formed when have a little more leg room.
To commemorate the time we’ve spent journeying with Christ in the proverbial wilderness, here is a poem I wrote after my first Sunday in the tent.
Like the Israelites before us, we are
Journeying in the wilderness. Our tent,
Our holy tabernacle, takes us far
Into the mysteries of Christ, who spent
Forty days for forty years in fasting
In preparation for his ministry.
Meanwhile, we wait for coming beauty, lasting
Art that wordless tells the Gospel story.
The Tabernacled Christ indwells the hearts
Of those who in this sacred tent now pray,
Leading us on the journey which ever starts
And never ends till the Resurrection Day.
For we are a pilgrim people following
A pilgrim God, and so our songs we sing.
David Russell Mosley