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Poetry Pleases: Communion At St John's

Joyce Worsfold writes of the communion services in a Yorkshire village church – and of the people who kneel "each with a life full and rushed, too little trust and always pushed''.....

The soft light falls on old stone walls
Silver gleams, the vicar beams
And holds on high the reason why
‘This do in remembrance of me’
We walk in line to wait our time.

A woman who waits for chemo’s fates
With trembling tears for precious years
Bows her head and cups the bread
‘Peace I give to you’ he said.

A frail old man does all he can
To spread the light, to fight the fight
With laughing eyes he holds the prize
‘For as much as you cared for one of these’
All that I have I give to you
My love for you’ he said.

The silence seeps, the child he peeps
Through butterfly hands he understands
The simple fact of love intact
Hands are spread upon his head
The Lord bless you and keep you
His face shine upon you
And give you his peace.’

The mother whose child was ill and died
Who would have given in for the loss of him
Kneels before the one who gave his son
And drinks the wine and sees the sign
That he suffers our every pain
And what we feel he has felt the same
My joy for you he says.

They hold hands and bear the brands
Of sixty springs, of wedding rings
Of failing health and loss of self
He does not know where to go
She guides him into place, a wealth of love lights her face
Gently she holds out his hands to the one who understands
‘I remember you ‘ he says

And so we meet and kneel at his feet
Each with a life full and rushed
Too little trust and always pushed
Problems and worries weariness and fears
Laughter and humour, hatred and tears
Money matters, hurt, horror and pain
Week after week we come again
To feed and be fed, to love and be loved
‘I love you’ he said.

The music weaves and lilts and breathes
For he has poured the love he stored
Into hands

that touch the keys
And the sounds of praise fill the days
Now and evermore.

Thankyou for feeding our love-starved souls
Thankyou for freedom, for making us whole
Thankyou for this place of prayer and song
Thankyou for love that lives on and on
This we do in remembrance of you.


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