St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast is this enormous 19th century building in the middle of town. Inside there are beautiful mosaics and stained glass windows. As we arrived yesterday we noticed the spire. It looks new. It's silver and shiny and stretches high into the air. It's pretty incongrous looking and fairly ugly in a way. I was wondering what it was there for. If the old one fell down or wasn't good enough why bother with a new spire?
In the church I used to go to someone once told me that spires were a signal of spiritual authority. Whichever church had the biggest spire had more authority over the demons and devils of the town. Thankfully (they added) the Catholic church spire was slightly shorter than the Protestant cathedral's. I would guess that the phallic authority idea is indeed what's behind the idea of having a church spire.
Yesterday I sat in my space and watched the people going up for communion, coming back, the choir taking their places, the priests taking theirs, all moving and having someplace to be. Maybe religion isn't about hypocrisy all the time. Maybe it's not about victory or goodness, whatever that is. Maybe it's just about getting through. Clinging to that spire like a mast.