October 31, 2021

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31 October
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Christ the King
All Hallow’s Eve

Ordinary Form
Deuteronomy 6,2-6
Psalm 18,2-3.3-4.47.51
Hebrews 7,23-28
Mark 12,28b-34

Extraordinary Form
Colossians 1,12-20
Psalm 71,8.11
Psalm 7,14
John 18,33-37

Why is there a gargoyle in our parish garden? Let’s ask Wikipedia.

In architecture, and specifically in Gothic architecture, a gargoyle is a carved or formed grotesque figure with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between.

Many medieval cathedrals included gargoyles and chimeras. They were already used in Greek and Egyptian architecture. The earliest known medieval gargoyles appear on Laon Cathedral (c. 1200–1220). Of the more famous examples are the gargoyles of NotreDame de Paris. Although most have grotesque features, the term “gargoyle” has come to include all types of images. Some gargoyles were depicted as monks, or combinations of real animals and people, many of which were humorous. Unusual animal mixtures, or chimeras, did not act as rainspouts and are more properly called grotesques. They serve as ornamentation but are now popularly called gargoyles.

The term originates from the French gargouille, which in English is likely to mean "throat" or is otherwise known as the "gullet"; cf. Latin gurgulio, gula, gargula ("gullet" or "throat") and similar words derived from the root gar, "to swallow", which represented the gurgling sound of water. It is also connected to the French verb gargariser (“gargle”).

Incidentally, the design of ancient Christians churches often included the signs of the Zodiac adorning the atrium outside the entrance of the church. That which is outside the doors is pagan. Inside is found the sacred. And when we allow the sacred mysteries to sanctify us, the natural and supernatural challenges should not be so scary anymore.

All you holy saints of God, pray for us!

Rev. Christopher J. Pollard