Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Prayers of the People

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Prayers of the People

Article excerpt

We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom. Remembering especially . . .

The Book of Common Prayer, 393

I said your name again, your simple name.

First name, last name, four syllables spoken into the silence.

I hadn't said your name out loud in five years.

It sounded like glass breaking,

like a magic spell: sacred, full of potential,

powerful enough to break a heart, again.

There are three categories of names, I'm told.

The merely living, the merely dead, and the famous.

Marlene Dietrich, Napoleon, Elvis.

Dead is not the first thing you think of.

Living reverberates in the name.

His story, her story, floating on the surface

of knowing minds; wreckage

that refuses to sink into oblivion.

But you arc the merely dead.

As I speak your name into the chapel,

it sinks into the shadows and dissipates.

No other mind in this place carries your living memory,

or your dead name. Not even for the length of four syllables.

Remembering the living and the famous

is hard enough. …

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