“Like everybody else, I bowed my head
during the consecration of the bread and wine,
I lifted my eyes to the raised host and raised chalice,
I believed (whatever it means) that a change occurred.
I went to the altar rails and received the mystery
on my tongue, returned to my place, shut my eyes fast, made
an act of thanksgiving, opened my eyes and felt
time starting up again.
There was never a scene
when I had it out with myself or with another.
The loss of faith occurred offstage. And yet I cannot
disrespect words like ‘thanksgiving’ or ‘host’
or even ‘communion wafer.’ They have an undying
pallor and draw, like well water far down.”
— Seamus Heaney