As I enter the building, the light shines on those small testaments of ritual, those things that bring peace and beauty to what could otherwise be chaos. A drape of white cloth, upon which lay a cup, a candle there, unlit for now, but soon to be anointed by flame.
I know he's waiting for me, so that I can unburden myself. He's probably thinking as well, it's been so long since I've been back. I wait outside the door for just a moment, taking in the tranquil quiet, the peaceful shadow.
In my pocket are implements forgotten. I gently finger them like beads, uttering the words that came from my mouth as I worked with them, words that strung out like coronals of roses as I disturbed anothers solemn remains, bent and bowed to my duties. Forgive me. Forgive them.
I pull those tools of my day from my pocket and lay them upon the white cloth. In the candlelight they gleam like the nicked and scuffed chain mail armor of angels.
From behind the door I hear the murmur of movement as my arrival is sensed. I stand outside, as silent as I did not long before, tongues of ash and flakes of fire raining on down, anointing the bones of men. How I wish they would stir, awakening to the fire, but they somethings do not. I make the sign of the cross, peace to their ashes.
I open the door, but it is not the door to penance and confession, not at this hour, this place. But it is a door to one that still, with heart untouched by either sin or evil, will listen to me, even if he can not speak.
When he has eaten first, I will go out to sit at that cloth covered table. I will take the meat, the bread and the wine, and I will pause, bent with sin but saved by grace, there as I bow my head in thanks. It is thanks, not just for the company of friends and the reminder of hope, but for a small furred creature who blesses me with the wag of a tail.