Monday, December 8, 2014

The Second Sunday in Advent

The bells of Saint Mary's

The Flaneur returns to his ecclesiastical roots. 

A meta-narrative derived from a walk across San Francisco following the ley line of Catholic churches along Grant to Columbus Avenue. (That was preceded by a tour of the Union Square materialism scene already seen in a January 2013 post.)
The three churches will stand in for the three Sundays in this post and in two posts to follow, although all the image capture took place on the last Sunday of Advent.
St Mary's Church is an important part of San Francisco's history. Roman Catholic policy requires even historic churches to support themselves by serving a congregation. I imagine attendance here may have thinned-out, the dead center of Chinatown. I urge the City to support this cultural treasure that appears to be suffering from neglect.

And yet, and yet, a blessed 
and aesthetically rich time is  well-spent
and still available here for all.

 Let's go in while we are still able, shall we?

 The beautiful altar resplendent in color,
Mary Queen of Heaven
My Mother came here one Christmas Mass
We brought her by cable car 
Sipping brandy in a doorway

 In somber light
 The intricate work of this masterful window

The priest brings Christ's sacrament to us

 The nature of all physical things is to decline
The art of man expressing the sacred
Will crumble if not restored

 The prophet not only sees over the line of dawn
He must speak of the truth to others

 He must be able to hold his own
 When faced by the reflexively skeptical

Lamb of God,
You take away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us


 The prayers have risen here for centuries
There is a path worn by them 
That one may follow oneself

Lamb of God
You take away the sins of the world
Grant us your peace

 The exquisite exit window

The "real" world
As viewed from the steps of St Mary's Church

Saint Mary's Gift-shop

 As the kaleidoscope of solstice celebration
Tilts into vertigo

 There are inducements to pause 
and to calm one's pulse

 The key is enjoying the holiday is 
Turn your pad into the a winter wonderland
Rewind the cuckoo clock to old-time tunes

The miracle of the Madonna and Child
The essence of it always in our mind

Out again into the chilly City streets
The joy of the coming Christmas in our hearts

22 December 2013

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