Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine
Secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
As I returned to my residence in Rome this evening I heard the church bells of the city begin to toll at 10.15pm. There was no need to ask for an explaination - the caption on the television news said it all - 'The Death of John Paul II'. A friend asked me what next - I replied 'the nine days of mourning or novemdiales, then the conclave will follow a few days later and with it the election of the new Pope.' The new Pope. One might as well have said one's 'new grandfather' so large has this mighty figure loomed in my consciousness. I remember no other Pope. The words of the Eucharistic prayer will sound strange for some time. Most of my readers will simply pray for 'Our Bishop N.' but we in Rome won't even be saying that. We have been doubly orphaned, losing Universal Pastor and Local Shepherd.