An Angel in the Cathedral

They came into the cathedral a little late, but by the time Theo slipped into the back row she was singing along with the Kyrie and she rationalized that she hadn't missed much. As she sang, she looked around at the congregation. The crowd was sedate, peaceful; the tensions of the day were beginning to fade into the soothing spirituality of the music. She heard the voices of their moods in her mind, but rather than being overwhelming, they were a pleasant accompaniment to the Kyrie, and the hymn that followed it.

She listened attentively to the reading from Isaiah, though now the voices were beginning to increase in their volume. It was an emotional, uplifting passage of hope and faith, and the crowd was stirred by a particularly passionate reading. She closed her eyes, swaying slightly as they sang the Psalm and words of strength and hope flooded through her.

It was slightly disappointing to see that neither the Epistle nor the Gospel would include Paul tonight, but she enjoyed both passages nonetheless. Peter spoke of tolerance and understanding of other countries, or at least that was how Theo interpreted it, and she couldn't help but get chills when John the Baptist claimed that Jesus would come and baptize them all with the holy spirit and fire. She breathed in deeply, steadying herself in the face of the many voices speaking and singing at once. Her hands reached out for the edge of the pew in front of her, but that only increased the mix of voices; she pulled away, gasping a little desperately now.

Tim put a steadying hand on her shoulder and she looked up at him with round eyes. He was so calm, even now, and that steadying presence brought her back to something less intense.

Everyone sat down to listen to the homily, or pretend to listen in some cases. Theo herself only caught bits and pieces between listening to the congregation, but she gathered that the priest's sermon was on tolerance.

She kept her thoughts on that to herself. It was, she supposed, good to preach respect for other people, but she wondered if this wasn't simply what was fashionable in this day and age. She'd seen enough to know that the Catholic Church had not always been so concerned with such things and she was internally skeptical of a change. Uncertain of how much of her thoughts were her own and how much they were influenced by the emotions of the cathedral, she twirled her hair with her finger and tried to simply pay attention.

Standing for the creed, she remained stubbornly silent while the rest of the congregation recited. That earned her a curious look from Tim. She might explain later that she didn't say the Nicene Creed because it had been written to spite her and her people, though she had to admit the words were poetically rendered.

Bowing her head for the prayers, she took one last peek at an unmovable Tim before closing her eyes. The emotions were more mixed now, less unified as people reflected on their own moments of grief or gratitude, but the sound was more beautiful to Theo than any hymn they had sung.

Theodosia 17 years ago
Tim shook her shoulder in the manner of one who had been trying to rouse a body for some time and was having little luck. Theo wondered how long she’d been ‘out of it’ and was surprised to see that she had spent the entirety of the prayers in a sort of a trance, held sway by the compelling voices surrounding her. It was now time for the sign of peace, which explained why Tim needed her attention. Still in something of a haze, she took several offered hands, picking up on more individual voices now that she could tie to a particular face.

His back hurts. She’s sad and a little lonely. She likes you, thinks you’re cute. He’s tired and wants to sleep, but he’s afraid of his wife.

And so on, in flickers of humanity.

Together they blessed the bread as the priests broke it over the alter and prepared the communion. Theo hesitated, but ultimately decided not to join the lines, as the priest wouldn’t recognize her and there might be uncomfortable questions. She looked to be an age where she might or might not be confirmed, and in any case she knew she was reaching her limits as to how much human contact she could take without feeling ‘out of it’ again.

In fact, now was as good a time as any to slip out; she nudged Tim and he seemed glad to comply, standing to let her out and allowing her to lead the way.

/ooc Theo out