Each Altar is Minas Tirith

Three poems by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall


After Pentecost

O happy, sunlit Ordinary Time,
Well-ordered weeks and days of worship quiet:
The banners of the seasons are stored away
And golden days now pass like mysteries
That flow from lips as soft whispers of love


When the Last Catholic Church is Seized and Sold
Upon the selling of Newfundland Churches

When at the Last Supper Jesus lifted Himself
Someone at table criticized the servers
For not getting some detail right (“Kids these days…”)

When the last Catholic church is seized and sold
When the bailiffs and deputies are given the keys
(The judges and lawyers will be laughing over single-malt at the country club)
When the vessels of the Altar are sold for scrap
When the windows are stacked at a re-sale shop
When the last Mass is ended and the people dispersed

When the processional cross is taken from the last altar server
Grumpy old Catholics will fault the poor child
For not holding it right (“Kids these days…”)


Each Altar is Minas Tirith

Each Altar is Minas Tirith these days
A city of kings and of the true King
Behind whose twice-barred gates and golden doors
The faithful may find refuge for a time

From here the King, enthroned, rules over us
At his Table He gives us seats of honor
And serves Himself to us as food and truth
Even as dark armies swarm outside

We are often told that we are hopeless romantics
Oh, no
For we are hopeful romantics, and will not yield

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