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Rest in Peace!

by Fr. Jonathan Atchley

I have just learned a faithful priest has died. He and I shared a year at Nazareth House retirement home together. While I was recuperating from spine surgery, wry Irish nonagenarian Fr. Aemon Mackin kept me company with delightful questions about philosophy. Curious, all this, because just now I was finishing up a poem on preparing for death, which I dedicate here, to you, dear friend.


Contemplating your splendor,

Destined to save us through blood,

Who are you, Jesus, Savior--

Son of man and Son of God?


We great sinners, you foresaw--

Those saved or bitterly lost.

Compassion for us, your law;

Love hung on the cross, the cost.


As a common criminal;

Naked thou didst suffer death.

On sinners, be merciful.

Assist us in our last breath!


Bring aid to all men’s trials.

Our salvation made you thirst,

Yet you hoped, all the while,

That for love we’d put you first.


Bitter was the vinegar—

Sweet the taste, that precious host:

Console us at death’s hour,

Viaticum: be our boast!




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Deacon Schwerdt
Deacon Schwerdt
14 oct 2023

May I quote that at funeral vigils? I have a vigil this coming Tuesday (10/17) for a good Catholic man from my parish who passed away.

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fatheratchley
fatheratchley
14 oct 2023
Contestando a

Of course, Deacon Paul. What good are poems that can't be shared?

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