I have to admit that I am a huge fan of the tv show, The West Wing. It is an entertaining historical fiction of life in the White House and the often divisive nature of our political system. For the past several weeks, I have been reminded of one particular episode where President Barlett delivered a speech in the aftermath of a fictional terrorist bombing. Words and phrases within the scene linger with me throughout the day, “The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.” With the “terror” of COVID-19 deaths (118,000 worldwide as of this posting) and the senseless loss of life from police overstepping their authority, these words, for me, are more profound than ever before. For me, the tv scene intersects with another memory, a prayer written in the 14th century for victims of the Black Death and put to music by Andrew Lloyed Webber, Pie Jesu. Although sung in Latin, I’ve provide an English translation. Both are quoted below.
I hope you also find them fitting for the times.