Sunday, October 31, 2021

At Lauds

St. Marguerite's Retreat House
Mendham, NJ



We gathered for Lauds

in the old convent chapel

across from the Episcopalian

retreat house in Mendham

as much to worship

as observe

nuns singing

in plainsong

from the Psalter


In the midst

of soft melodic chants

Petie padded in

on all fours

black and white

as their habits—

tail wagging

tags jingling

claws clicking

like cleats

against red brick


Petie traipsed

from sister to sister

including the elderly one

hunched over

in her wheelchair

From each

he received pats

or nuzzles

or a scratch

behind his ears

then he wandered

up front

by the altar

laid bare belly

against cool brick

and napped


Maude Carolan

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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Christian Rock Concert

 Here's an oldie, written in 2004,

about a Christian rock concert I attended

with my sister and sister-in-law

during summer vacation...




It was good for us to be there

even though our silver pates pounded

and our ears were so deeply traumatized

by each deafening decibel

our hearing actually dulled, temporarily

The thundering beat bounced off

walls and rafters, ceiling and floor

reverberated in our seats

and sent tremulous vibrations

through our entire beings


It was a rock concert of worship music

with smoke and strobe and spotlights

PowerPoint and praise to Jesus. Hallelujah!

Amplified drums and crashing cymbals

the resounding cymbals the Psalms speak of

It's the very same music we enjoy over the radio

when we have control of the knob

There was no adjusting the volume tonight


The lead singer leaped across the stage

and sang so loudly we couldn't hear words

We attempted to sing along as best we could

we clapped and shouted and raised our hands

along with thousands, mostly young

with wonderful innate enthusiasm

and accustomed, receptive ears

We even did "the wave" with them

until we all were reminded

of the balcony's 100 year old fragility

We were reminded of our own 60ish fragility


We really wanted to stay. We really wanted to enjoy

We really wanted to span generations with great jubilation

We didn't mean to weenie out, but

looking one to the other

realized our pinched faces weren't reflective

of the fired-up ones one third our ages

so we ducked out midway through the second performance


Tomorrow we'll go to church

We'll sing, "Come, Thou Almighty King"

Number 392 in the frayed pew hymnal

but we'll treasure aspects of tonight

like the little girl in ribbon-tied pigtails

both hands raised way up high

like the cool guys with their big silver crosses

their earrings and bandanas

black tees emblazoned with The Name

like the twelve year old in the row in front of us

who kept spinning his green glow stick

as he danced in the bleachers praising his Jesus

with all the fervor of the shepherd/king of long ago

who led that remarkable gambol of wild abandon

before the Holy Ark


Maude Carolan

Here I am reading from my book,
Behold the Lamb...poetically!
at the Totowa Library in New Jersey

For information about ordering my books, Wonderhoods or Behold the Lamb...poetically!, visit my website at

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Happy 15th Anniversary to Us!

Bob and I will celebrate our

15th Wedding Anniversary

on Thursday...

Maude & Robert Pych on our wedding day,

October 21, 2006

Pastor/Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, officiating.


Israel Pilgrimage—2006


There was a grass-roofed shelter

along the Sea of Galilee

which reminded me of a succah

which reminded me of God’s covering over me

which reminded me of the blue and white tallit

I bought yesterday in Tiberias


Once I read an article in The Record

that stated being wrapped in a tallit

is like getting a hug from God

a statement that made me yearn

for a prayer shawl of my own

The very day after the article appeared

Rabbi Jonathan revealed

the newly designed Mizoram tallit to our congregation

with its colorful “Lamb within a Star of David” logo

representing Yeshua, our Jewish Messiah—

I gasped, when I saw it, assuming

one would be mine, my tallit, my hug from God

however, they were only presented to the pastors


which brings me to my marriage to Bob

just sixteen days ago

and that Pastor Steven graciously offered

to lend us his tallit to use as our wedding canopy

He gave us his traditional blue and white striped shawl

but Rabbi Jonathan said we would need a larger one

so Pastor Steven lent us his personal Mizoram tallit—

the very shawl that caused me to gasp, so long ago


Four ministers held up the corners of the prayer shawl

creating a fringed huppah over our heads

So, Bob and I stood under the covering of the Lamb

as we exchanged our marriage vows


At the conclusion of the ceremony

Rabbi Jonathan draped the shawl over our shoulders

wrapping us in a Heavenly hug on our holy wedding day


Maude Carolan Pych

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Sunday, October 10, 2021

An Unexpected Blessing

One of those unexpected blessings...

Mount of Beatitudes, Israel

Image credit:


Israel Pilgrimage—1986


At the Mount of Beatitudes

Wayne[1] suggests we each find

a quiet spot to spend

time alone with God


so I stroll along a pathway

surrounding the church

built in the name of

the Lord’s great message

to the multitudes


In a few moments I hear baa baaing

and follow the sound to the top of a hill

with sheep and a shepherd in view below


I sit on a low wall

to watch and carefully listen

for the voice of my Shepherd

amid plaintive bleating

I, too, am one of His sheep

I, too, have things to tell him

and don’t want to miss

anything He might have to say


This is communion—

a lamb with her Shepherd


I bask awhile in sweet serenity

aware of a holy presence

as the sheep graze

and the shepherd, like Jesus

carefully tends his flock


Afterward, we pilgrims come together—

No one else heard the sheep

No one else saw the shepherd


The interlude was for me alone

a gift from my God—

a simple blessing

to one little lamb He loves


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Wayne Monbleau—Pilgrimage leader and host of “Let’s Talk About Jesus” radio program. 

For information about ordering Maude's books of poetry,

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

and "Wonderhoods"

visit her website:

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Mount Arbel in the Moonlight

Here's another poem of pilgrimage...

Mount Arbel at night.


Israel Pilgrimage--2006


Traveling in the tour bus from Tel Aviv

we arrive at the base of Mount Arbel

before twilight turns to dusk


The prudent would

postpone this venture

till daybreak, but

the zealous are rarely prudent


so seventy of us

imprudent zealous pilgrims

hastily begin an uphill trek

dodging rocky obstacles

Sprightly pilgrim feet

shuffle, sprint and stumble

up the mount

right to the cliff edge

at the pinnacle


The last vestiges of twilight

reveal the Galilee

flowing below us, darkly

like a great well of ink

Thousands of twinkling pin-lights

emanate from across the lake

…the city of Tiberius


The full moon

makes shadows of us all

as our guide teaches

and our rabbi ministers


We sing

O how we sing—


We are standing

on holy ground and we know

that there are angels all around…


and song after song of praise

unconcerned about hour or nightfall


Our exhilarated spirits mellow

and we lapse into solemn silence

except for muffled adoration

by a few and gentle weeping

by those bearing weighty burdens


then one by one

we make our way


down the steep, stony path

as God’s great October orb

casts a holy beacon

upon what otherwise would be

a treacherous, dark descent


Maude Carolan Pych


How to purchase Maude's books,

"Wonderhoods" and "Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

Maude at Barnes & Noble, Woodland Park, NJ.

Click on the following link for ordering information:

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