So, November 2nd is All Souls Day, little sweetheart, and the day before, All Saints. November 2 was this last Wednesday and that's the night the little candlelight meditation is every week. The little service that inspired Electric Hymnal. I asked if they do anything special for All Souls and they said they include a special poem and remembrance prayer on Wednesday.
They told me that they also have a special observance on Sunday. They call it All Saints Sunday, describing "saints" not as exclusively those beatified but as those beloveds who exemplified love and made a difference in who we have become. There is a special flower ceremony as well. And they asked me if I would like to be the guest liturgist/reader.
So, I put on my suit and headed up there this morning. I read from Luke. And I offered a pink rose for you, my angel, as part of the flower ceremony. It was really beautiful.
On the way home I was passing that little rectory I've told you about. It's a different church - Sacred Heart - a largely Spanish congregation, and the little rectory is the house where the nuns live there on W51st between 9th and 10th Avenues. There's a little garden beside it with a statue of Mary. I always stop to say a prayer for you as I pass. And I've had brief words with one or another of the nuns over the years. Famously, three of them enthused to tell me last year when 7 11 was giving away free slurpees. And one time when I was walking away after saying a prayer for you, one saw and smiled and said "she hears you."
I've been meaning for ages to knock on the door and give one of the sisters a copy of Electric Hymnal. Today, in my suit and actually having a copy in my little satchel, I finally did ring the bell, my hands full of groceries from D'Agostinos (I'm making chicken soup tonight). It took a while and I didn't know if anyone was at home but eventually one of the nuns opened the door. I told her my name was Michael and she invited me inside right away. Sister Catherine. She started to say something. Like she thought she already knew me. I didn't quite understand what she was saying. Not because she was speaking with an accent or anything. The congregation is largely Spanish but the nuns are all Caucasian. I found myself nodding involuntarily until I understood that she was asking wasn't I the nice man who had hosted their visiting guest Vincent de Torre (or something like that). And I said sorry no. And she said you don't know what I'm talking about do you? And we both started to laugh. And I said, I thought you were saying a blessing in Latin. And then she really roared with laughter.
She was very nice. I told her about you, little sweetheart. And I told her how I say a prayer every time I pass. I told her that I go to church at West End and that they have a meditation service that inspired us. That you and I had a band and that we continue to make music for you. I told her that we'd made an album a few months ago inspired by the meditation service and that I had meant to stop by and give it to them for quite a while. I told her about the slurpee day. And she laughed again.
She thanked me so much for the CD. And then she said, "this may sound funny, but I've got some rolls in the oven. May I give you some?" She said it was their Visitors Day, when the sisters have family and friends from all over, from home, from where they came from, come to see them. So, they were all baking and getting ready. She asked me to wait and she went back to the kitchen and then returned with a ziplock bag full of little dinner rolls. "They're still hot!" she said. Fresh from the oven. She thanked me again for the music and she said she hoped she'd see me again soon. And she said she would pray for you. And she said "God bless you". And I said "God bless you" too.
God bless you, little sweetheart. My angel, my special saint, my true love, the other half of my soul. Love you forever....