The sanctuary was silent.
The doors shuttered since March, so I have not been inside our church since. Because of the pandemic, we are worshiping online or outside in an effort to protect each other as well as our community.
Still, I miss it so. I miss the fellowship of prayer, I miss the peaceful sunlight streaming through stained-glass windows, but most of all, I miss the singing.
Our church has indicated we will probably be worshiping outside for a while, so I have come to help gather autumn décor for decorating the parking lot services.
I take this rare opportunity, however, to sit for a moment in the sacred silence of this sanctuary, and I am reminded of all those faces of faith who have sat before me, praying through troubled times as severe as these. Ours is an historic church dating back to the 1800s, so within these sturdy limestone walls parishioners prayed throughout the Civil War, WWI, the 1918 Pandemic, and on up the decades.
But even though our sanctuary sits empty, as do many other houses of worship, I did not feel an emptiness of spirit. For those voices from the past seemed to sing out that the light and love that is in each of us, now more than ever, needs to go out into our communities bearing gifts of compassion, kindness, and grace to one another.
And so, from my empty pew I prayed for that glorious day when we are all together again, either in a sanctuary or simply gathered around the kitchen table, and when we are, may the angels hear us sing.
I’m Marnie O. Mamminga and that’s my perspective.