Do you ever have a moment of inner peace in your day? A moment, sandwiched between the cluttered hurriedness of everyday life when you are able to listen to your soul? One of those times where you say to yourself: This is peace. And you ask yourself where have these moments gone?
As one of thirteen children, I am grateful to my parents for making the necessary sacrifices so that I could attend a catholic high school. The alternative to attending a private high school close to home was attending one of the Boston public high schools. And, although Boston has some very good public high schools (Boston Latin, for example), my parents did not want to take the chance of me being bused to another section of Boston. Unfortunately, during the late 70’s and early 80’s concern for student safety was high.
Although I have driven by my alma mater numerous times since graduating, I have only stepped inside the school a handful of times (to watch the Knights basketball team play and to attend a mass they hold every year). I had not attended the Liturgy to remember family and friends who have passed away since 2006 so I decided to make an effort to get there this year. And I was able to attend the service, which was held last weekend.
What was sort of cool about walking through those doors this year was the fact that each of my hands was holding one of my daughters’ hands. Emily was able to have a few hours of one on one time with Sarah after we convinced Allie and Anna that it would be “fun” for them to go to Daddy’s old school to see Grandma G. (my mom attends the mass every year) and have some donuts. We, of course, did not say much about the mass part!
Overall, it was simply a very nice couple of hours with my girls. Allie and Anna were very well behaved during the mass, which was not unsual - they generally are well behaved in new environments. I don't think they said a word the entire time, actually!
Cards from alumuni are placed on the altar with the names of family and friends of the school to be remembered. I had written the names of my dad, my niece Julie, and our daughter Abigail on my card. This would be some time to take a breath and meditate on my dad, my niece and Abigail. And amazingly enough, I did find some moments of meditation while the mass was being said.
In addition to Father P., there was one altar server (they used to be called altar boys!) and a choral group made up of high school students. Unlike other times when I attend a service and there is music, this time I absorbed the sounds of the voices rather than let them bounce of off me. The sound was pleasant.
The communion hymn was On Eagle's Wings which will always be an emotional hymn. The next hymn was one which I do not remember hearing previously - Borrowed Angels. The vocalists, particularly one student, sang his verses perfectly - it was almost as if he had written the words himself, his voice was so true.
The refrain touched me:
There must be Borrowed Angels, here in this life
They come along, into this world, and make this world bright
But they can't stay forever
Cause they're heaven sent
And sometimes, heaven needs them back again
Abigail Ruth - Dad - Julie