Behind the altar candles gently burn.
A wisp of smoke dances then fades away
as Father Jacques, too old for dancing, pauses.
Another morning Mass, another day.
For many years this man of peace has stood here
in service of his people and his Lord.
In joy and pain, in sorrow and in rapture,
a constant beacon in a darkening world.
But as he scans the faces of the faithful
two unfamiliar visitors appear
and, in those final moments at the altar,
he knows that perfect love which drives out fear.
Your service ended, Ite Missa Est.
Faithful servant enter now your rest.
(c) Rich Clarkson 2016