Lady Olivia Chapman
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Evening Prayers

By: Lady Olivia Chapman
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Weeks and months had passed since laying eyes upon the Estate and finally I had everything nearly in place. I had received a letter from Mama and Papa advising me of the death of two of my dear cousins from smallpox, and thought a visit to the chapel in the house a good idea. I also had much to be thankful for in my own good health and good fortune.

I walked into the dark, paneled room and was immediately touched by the faint scent of incense, from a mass long past, undoubtedly. The evening sun streamed through the stained windows in the front of the room, each one bedecked with an image of Faith, Hope and Charity. Place such as this had always touched me deeply. The knowledge that so many prayers had been said here in this very room, for so many different things. Prayers for grace, for healing, for safe travels for a loved one. I am not a very pious person, I never have been, but churches and chapels always turned my mood somber and serious.

I clutched my prayer book to my chest and walked to the kneeling bench. My heels seemed too loud for such a silent room.

Kneeling, I felt my heart overflow with the things I had done which had cause offense to others, and to God. I pressed my palms together and began to pray, silently petitioning for the repose of my cousins, the good health of my Mama and Papa, and all of my friends, for more grace and modesty and for the King. I rose and walked to a pew to watch the rays of sun travel down the long windows. Sitting wordlessly, I imagined the weddings and funerals that the previous owner must have had here. I had never considered a home with a chapel before, but now I thought it a very good thing indeed.

Sighing deeply, I rose, straightening my skirts and walked across the floor giving one last glance to the day's last light as it sliced through the glass and landed squarely on the cross on the altar. I walked through the doors, closing them as quietly as possible, allowing nature and God to say 'good night' in peace.