Malachai. Beethoven. Sigur Rós. —A communion prayer (2).


At first I cannot decide whether to read your oracle to Malachi in silence, or while listening to music.

I choose music.

Then I cannot decide whether Beethoven’s 9th Symphony or the Parantheses album by Sigur Rós will be more appropriate—whether the promise of joy, or of curse.

I choose Sigur Rós; I choose curse.

You see me. You hear me. I read aloud. I pace.

What are these sounds of curse, this music that teaches me the weight of curse: that darkness, that apartness, that despair, these slow sad movements, these notes so far apart from each other. Yes, you love your people. But when they—when we—do not abide in the Way, when we leave, rob, keep for ourselves what belongs to you: we become a curse.

So I read aloud. And the music is here. And the curse is all around me, is in my ears, is filling me up: voices singing longing, voices singing destruction. You show me the way of my darkness. You surround me with curse. Its weight is unbearable. It enters my body and it moves throughout my body. I am filled with it. I am crushed by the curse. I am under the curse.

So I join your people. I am with them, thousands of years ago. I am among them. And we are selfish. And we have robbed you. And we are afraid. And we are desperate. And we are apart from you.

And what then.

“Behold,” you say, “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome DAY OF THE LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.”

Even while we rob you and turn away from you, even now while we are a curse: still we are your children. Still you promise Elijah, the gift of John the Baptist. Still you promise the DAY OF THE LORD, the gift of your Son. Still you promise reconciliation, the gift of your heart turned towards me, of my heart turned towards you.

In remembrance of the curse, in remembrance of your Son, in the hope that you and I will turn towards one another: we break bread and we drink of the cup. We join the story: it comes—the DAY OF THE LORD comes.

Because of you, we remember together that in your Son, in this broken body, in this spilled blood, the promise of joy now contains and overcomes the promise of curse.

Father, forgive us our sins, we beg. Turn your heart to your children, we pray.

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