Poem: “….ad altare Dei”

I offer the purple sash
and the white surplice.

I offer the cold mornings
when snow crunched
and the church was dark
and silent
and an old man
came down the aisle.

I offer the cruets,
and the words at the foot of the altar,
and the priest, heavy with vestments

Introibo ad altare Dei.

I offer the bells and the cross,
and incense sprinkled on coals.

I offer
the long white tapers
and the flames.

Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.

Patrick T. Reardon

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