Monday, July 10, 2006

Hope There's Someone

Hope There's Someone

Hope there's someone
Who'll take care of me
When I die, will I go

Hope there's someone
Who'll set my heart free
Nice to hold when I'm tired

There's a ghost on the horizon
When I go to bed
How can I fall asleep at night
How will I rest my head

Oh I'm scared of the middle place
Between light and nowhere
I don't want to be the one
Left in there, left in there

There's a man on the horizon
Wish that I'd go to bed
If I fall to his feet tonight
Will allow rest my head

So here's hoping I will not drown
Or paralyze in light
And godsend I don't want to go
To the seal's watershed

Hope there's someone
Who'll take care of me
When I die, Will I go

Hope there's someone
Who'll set my heart free
Nice to hold when I'm tired

A colleague of mine introduced me to this this first track, ‘Hope There’s Someone’ from the Antony and the Johnsons CD I Am A Bird Now. It is one of the most moving songs I have ever heard and I am not ashamed to say it reduced me to tears the first time I heard it. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but Antony’s mournful, near-falsetto voice, coupled with the lyrics made a deep impression. With a name like Antony Heggarty, I can’t help but think that Antony has some Catholic heritage, and if you have anything serious to do with the Catholic Church the words "..now and at the hour of our death" will have passed your lips more than once. Interestingly one of his influences is Andy Warhol, who despite his rather bohemian life tried to remain a devout , if rather unconventional Catholic. He was particularly keen on the more traditional aspects of the faith (Mass, rosary and the image of Our Lord crucified)

It made me consider my own death and the hope that there will be someone to share my last hours (my wife if she has not predeceased me, or my boys). It is something I think of often in the nature of my professional work (I work with the terminally ill). So many older people have no-one to share that last illness (because of smaller more disparate families). I had the great privilege of being with my mother and father in their last hours, to pray for them and with them, to ensure they had the Last Sacraments and to tell them I loved them and knew that they had loved me.

It must be in part some explanation of the desire for euthanasia or assisted suicide that we have lost the ability to ensure a happy death. Joee Blogs recently alluded to this when outlining a prayer he was composing for a lady for a happy death. It seems to be a deep fear or yearning that we should not die alone and it is part of the great wisdom of the Church that she should provide us with the comfort of the Sacraments for that last journey.

I pray tonight, especially for those who feel alone facing death, and all those who need God's presence in the night.

Watch, dear Lord with those who wake or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ, rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, shield your joyous ones, and all for your love's sake.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that night prayer. It leaves one more able to rest, as it seems to cover most of the bases of the most urgent of night prayers. Thanks!

M. K. Jones
Portland OR USA

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that night prayer. It leaves one more able to rest, as it seems to cover most of the bases of the most urgent of night prayers. Thanks!

M. K. Jones
Portland OR USA

9:35 PM  

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