At Easter Sunday Mass, I noticed something dark atop one of the spires of the reredos (the intricately beautiful shrine of statues taking up the wall behind the altar).
What is that, I wondered, continuing to stare. Surely it hasn’t been there before.
When the thing started to move, I knew without a doubt — It was a bird!
Pointing it out to my mom, I glanced at it now and then, just to make sure it was still in one place.
You see, I have this irrational fear of birds being inside — swooping around, landing in my hair, pooping on the floor (or on me!). Probably has something to do with seeing Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds as a young’un.
Anyway, our bird continued to preen from its high perch, obviously enjoying the music.
When time came for the priest’s sermon, he started in, reminding us of the significance of Easter Sunday and all.
Suddenly, the bird (a turtle dove) SWOOPED from behind him and soared the length of the church — all the way to the choir loft in the balcony.
Without missing a beat, Father acknowledged the bird and proceeded with his message.
What amazing focus!
Especially since his wasn’t the only song in town. The bird, a dove, proceeded to lament and whistle, flapping back and forth, trying in vain to find a way to the Great Outdoors.
Eventually, it settled on a railing near where Father was reading his homily. About a yard behind him.
My heart was pounding, and I found myself wondering why he didn’t
ask insist the ushers open the main doors and set the poor creature free.
Then I decided that maybe, just maybe, it was okay to have a bird inside the church.
After all, turtle doves have long been a symbol of true love and fidelity (something our parish could use a bit more of).
Doves also symbolize the Holy Spirit. All four Gospel writers describe the Baptism of Jesus, with the Holy Spirit descending “like a dove” upon Him.
So what made your Easter Sunday memorable?