Easter 1975 in Vietnam (2)

A few days ago, I quoted from Last of the Annamese the description of Easter mass in Saigon in 1975. Continuing:

Monsignor Sullivan’s homily was about spiritual joy in the face of adversity. At communion, the group sang a ballad to the words, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

Next came what Monsignor Sullivan called “the Kiss of Peace.” He descended from the altar and went into the congregation, greeting those at the front of the church. They shook hands with those near them who in turn passed the greeting on to others. The kiss of peace moved through the congregation like ripples on the face of a still lake.

Meanwhile a soloist in the folk group, unaccompanied, intoned a serene melody with the words, “My peace I leave to you, my peace I give to you.” After the first verse, one guitar played softly behind her. Then the second guitar joined, playing a different pattern. Two more voices added a counter melody, and the remainder of the group, Molly included, entered singing a third tune, all to the same words. The music, a skein of patterns, filled the chapel.

As Chuck received a handshake from the man beside him, Molly’s voice vanished from the musical tapestry. He turned to look at the altar. There she was, where she was supposed to be. She raised her eyes above the heads of the congregation. Her voice reappeared, rasping, unsteady, but determined.

End of quote. More tomorrow.

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