Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Empty Pew

One of our stops on Friday was St. Patrick's Cathedral. Although the very recognizable facade was covered with scaffolding, once inside it seemed all the same. I've been there a couple of times, and I'm always transported back to that June day in 1968 and the funeral of RFK. I looked at the pews and remembered the faces of all the dignitaries seated and kneeling to remember and honor the rising star so senselessly taken. As I sat in a pew this afternoon, I reflected  both on the faces passing and the lines of pews waiting  for the masses. Whether it's the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus, here at the iconic St. Patrick's Cathedral or the simple confines of St. Joseph's, the parish church I grew up in, the seats seem the same and can tell us a lot of the past. They reflect the trials and tribulation of the faces that walk the aisles searching out an empty seat. Give me your tired, your weak, your homeless...

12 comments:

  1. Those pews have a witnessed a lot of history.

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  2. You make a good point about the sense of community history. If only there weren't all the other stuff . . .

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  3. An unusual photo for a thoughtful memory of past events. Incidentally, your literary quote was terrific: one by Nadine Gordimer (my hero) quoting Ernest Hemingway...loved it.

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  4. Why is it that certain events in our life can be triggered by material things like a church and its pews. It can be anything really, that opens your mind clearly back to a past event -- barbara

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  5. I was the cause of pews looking like this when I was a kid. Hey I was bored.

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  6. nicely written. a place of boredom, obligation, penance, furtive prayers.

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  7. The pew you show us has such character, such history. It's sort of like a martyr in itself.
    I first heard of "french polish" a few years ago when i started to hang around St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. The pews were shiny and smooth, too smooth.

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  8. Is it imbued with history? Or simply scratched by time?

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  9. Those pews have seen lots of happy and sad times!

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  10. The photo is a beautiful concept, the weary wood that seated thousands of worshipers, penitents and mourners. But the tired and poor are remembered in a civil setting, that big green statue down in the harbor.

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  11. A very unique portrait of St Patrick's...I like hanging out in cathedrals when there is not a Mass going on...a good place for reflecting...

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