success stories

Posted July 14, 2004

A Poetical Reflection on the Procession in Mass

Taken from Liturgical Gestures, Words, Objects
Selections from Assembly in honor of Mark Searle
Edited by Eleanor Bernstein, CSJ


What is procession?
Movement from place to place,
measured movement, stately movement,
a representative few treading a representative distance:
journey distilled.

This is what all journeys are, it proclaims,
this is journey at its heart.

Again and again,
from week to week,
from age to age,
there is something of endings and beginnings;
of closing doors behind and opening those ahead,
of meeting and walking together.

What is procession? A journey, distilled.
From age to age, from east to west
we have skipped and limped and marched and run
and shuffled and strolled our various ways.

Our stories reverberate in measured tread.
From age to age, from east to west
our hurried feet have marked
the peaks and valleys, the sand and stone,
the mud, the grass, the dust,
the streams.

We pause in solemn pace to remember:
All ground is holy ground.
We come interiorly shoeless.

What is procession?
It is journey distilled journey at its heart,
a gathering into one movement
of a Church on the way:
a pilgrim people, a dusty, longing people,
yet walking with heads high;
knowing ourselves, showing ourselves
to be the royal nation, the holy people
won by the Son
called by the Word,
gathered around his table.

There we discover again,
from age to age, from east to west,
for all our journeys,
the source, the ground, the companion, the way.

By Janet Schlichting, OP