James Primosch

I.  Kyrie

O deep unknown, guttering candle,
beloved nugget lodged
in the obscure heart's
last recess,
have mercy upon us.

We choose from the past, tearing morsels to feed
pride or grievance.
We live in terror
of what we know:

death, death, and the world's
death we imagine
     and cannot imagine,
we who may be
the first and last witness.

We live in terror
of what we do not know,
in terror of not knowing,
of the limitless, through which freefalling
forever, our dread
sinks and sinks,
       of the violent closure of all

Yet our hope lies
in the unknown,
in our unknowing.

O deep, remote unknown,
O deep, unknown,
Have mercy upon us.

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

II.  Gloria

Praise the wet snow
   falling early.
Praise the shadow
  my neighbor's chimney casts on the tile roof
even this gray October day that should, they say,
have been golden.
the invisible sun burning beyond
   the white cold sky, giving us
light and the chimney's shadow
god or the gods, the unknown,
that which imagined us, which stays
our hand,
our murderous hand,
                                 and give us
in the shadow of death,
                our daily life,
                and the dream still
of goodwill, of peace on earth.
flow and change, night and
the pulse of day.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Et in terra pax
 hominibus bonæ voluntatis.
Laudamus te; benedicimus te; 
adoramus te; glorificamus te.

Gratias agimus tibi 
propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Domine Deus, Rex coelestis, 
Deus Pater omnipotens.

Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe.

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei,
Filius Patris.
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.

Qui tollis peccata mundi, 
suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Qui sedes ad dextram Patris, 
O miserere nobis.
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, 
tu solus Dominus, 

tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe.

Cum Sancto Spiritu 
in gloria Dei Patris.

Glory be to God in the highest.

And on earth peace 
to men of good will.
We praise you; we bless you; 
we adore you; we glorify you.

We give you thanks for your great glory.
Lord God, Heavenly King, 
God the Father Almighty.

O Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son. 

Lord God, Lamb of God, 
Son of the Father.
You that take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
You that take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.

You that sit at the right hand of the Father, 
have mercy upon us.
For you only are the Holy One, 
you alone are the Lord, 

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ.

Together with the Holy Ghost 
in the glory of God the Father.

III. Credo

I believe the earth
exists, and
in each minim mote
of its dust the holy
glow of thy candle.
unknown I know,
thou spirit,
lover of making, of the
wrought letter,
wrought flower,
iron, deed, dream.
Dust of the earth,
help thou my
unbelief. Drift,
gray become gold, in the beam of
vision. I believe and
interrupt my belief with
doubt. I doubt and
interrupt my doubt with belief. Be,
belovéd, threatened world.
     Each minim
the ordinary glow
of common dust in ancient sunlight.
Be, that I may believe. Amen.

Credo in unum Deum;

Patrem omnipotentem, 
factorem coeli et terrae
Credo in unum Dominum Jesum Christum
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum
Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum

et vitam venturi sæculi. Amen.

I believe in one God;
the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ
Who was crucified for us
I believe in the Holy Spirit
I await the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

excerpts from poems by Denise Levertov; Latin Ordinary of the Mass

“Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus” by Denise Levertov, from CANDLES IN BABYLON, copyright ©1982 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

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