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What Your Parish Priest Misses Most

By Clint Wilson

I miss the silence of the church before anyone has arrived,

I miss the altar guild faithfully serving in unseen ways,

I miss the embrace of so many, touches serving as pastoral promissory notes,

I miss the handshakes that express in more English manner the same sentiment.

I miss the child who awaits my high five; or is it I who await?

I miss the excitement of the newcomer, and the stability of the old-timer.

I miss the parishioner who treats my ear like an endless cavern.

I miss beholding the eyes that signal the need for a call or card.

I miss visiting hearth and hospital.

I miss the fervent prayers of old ladies, and our young acolytes.

I miss those who sit in the same spot—the sacred is found in rhythms and place.

I miss processing amidst the people; the psalms chanted by choir.

I miss the Gospel born again into our midst,

Lord, may your Word be ever on our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts.

I miss preaching, even if my people do not.

I miss kneeling and standing, and the moments our idiosyncrasies dissolve and we flow like (baptismal) water together.

I miss the crotchety comments…I expect them and love their heralds.

I miss the organ.

I miss the Great Amen resounding through the Nave, and the squeal of children.

I miss the sound of coffee brewing, waiting to be consumed,

I miss our people, consuming, and being consumed, and thus, becoming what we are:

the Body of Christ.

Fr. Clint Wilson is rector of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY.

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