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Of the Day When God Is Dead

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who as on this day rested in the sepulcher, and thereby sanctified the grave to be a bed of hope to Your people: Make us so to abound in sorrow for our sins, which were the cause of Your passion, that when our bodies rest in the dust, our souls may live with You; who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.” – Titusonenine

And as for Jesus: He is dead at this liturgical moment, the Nietzschean position in the Christian calendar, when one might even say that, “God is dead.”

Jesus was a nobody. Any modern university student can see this. He came from the equivalent of “flyover country” — even in an insignificant (and colonized) backwater of the Middle East. His disciples were all nobodies, too. His earthly father was a working-class stiff; Joseph’s wife would have counted for less. He had no university or higher education: nothing even resembling a degree. He received no assistance from any “experts.” So far as He did, in fact, have some expertise in Holy Scripture, he was self-taught. He had no standing in any of the “vested interests” of Palestine; no wealthy relations. He’d never been anywhere else. Nazareth and district were less visited than the Guadalupe Mountains, and Jerusalem was not an important provincial capital. Even within Jerusalem, Jesus was somewhere between unknown and disliked. There was little in the way of media in those days, even in Rome or Alexandria, but by what there was, He was ignored. His “support” was entirely word-of-mouth. The sensation briefly caused by His Crucifixion — one of millions of judicial murders through the ages — was well contained. All of his disciples (except one) abandoned him. A few women still kicked around. But even after his death on Good Friday, and all the events after His death, the word spread slowly.

He was not one of the “smart people.” The only thing you could say was, that He was the Son of God.  Towards a Vigil : Essays in Idleness 2020

She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings

Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Joe Krill April 20, 2019, 6:27 AM

    “Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
    Man never Is, but always To be blest.
    The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home,
    Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”
    ― Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

  • Richard April 20, 2019, 6:31 AM

    Quiet as a tomb, this Holy Saturday.
    All is well.

  • Patvann April 20, 2019, 7:44 AM

    That closeup is of Mary Cleophas. From the painting, (The) Deposition of Christ (ad1435). By Van der Weyden.

    She was one of the “three Marys” who followed Our Lord and stood at the foot of the Cross on Calvary when He died. She was the wife of Saint Cleophas, the brother of Saint Joseph. She was the mother of Saint Simon, Saint James the Less and Saint Jude.
    Saint Mary of Cleophas was put on a boat with others by the Jews in the year 47, and pushed out to sea without sails or oars. She died in France. The island in France where she landed, after her miraculous journey from Jerusalem, is called les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (“the Holy Marys of the Sea”), named for Saint Mary of Cleophas, Saint Mary Magdalen and Saint Mary Salome.

  • JiminAlaska April 20, 2019, 8:22 AM

    Alas as Instapundit & Hot Air notes:
    Actual AP Headline: “Tourist Mecca Notre Dame Also Revered As Place Of Worship”
    Happy Easter to all, but beware of Rough Beasts Slouching Toward….

  • DAN April 20, 2019, 8:24 AM

    TOTALLY off topic. just read that paradise water is contaminated with benzene, 300 million $ & 2-3 years to clean it out.??? WTF ??

  • Patvann April 20, 2019, 11:28 AM

    Easter is the Foundation of all Christian faiths and creeds. Ever since I was 10 years old, and as a young altar-boy, I sang-OUT Christmas songs and hymns with all my heart and soul (they told me I was good at this)… I’ve always wondered where the Hymns were regarding Easter. Shit.. I once brought a church full of retired nuns to tears singing Silent Night at age 13…
    -I asked then, I looked and researched then, and as I aged toward my 58th year, and helped the Internet expand, I’ve looked again. And again today.

    None but the periphery; Some slavery songs, and a couple of modern horribly-bad country songs.

    This confounds me! Why!?
    My soul asks….”Hey Johann!!!!?!? What-up?

    I don’t know why. Yet I have always been consumed by the “Why’s”…

  • churchladyiowa April 20, 2019, 12:52 PM


    As a lifelong Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod member, I assure you that I grew up knowing many Easter hymns/songs. Off the top of my head: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,”
    (link to an actual congregation singing a few of the verses:
    “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” “Awake My Heart, With Gladness,” “The Strife is O’er, the Battle Done,” “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” (there’s a whole section of them in our hymnal). As a tiny tot, I remember belting out “Easter Day, Glad Easter Day” when we had a Sunday School Easter program. I even remember the ‘piece’ I said, “The Lord arose victorious and gave us Easter Day!” Luther himself authored several well-known hymns, among them “Away in a Manger,” and “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come.”

    I realize Martin Luther has been the object of intense dislike in the Catholic church for the past 500 years. But I don’t think you can deny how common sense his reforms were; youth Christian education is a biggie. One of his most important issues was that little children needed to be taught early on about their Lord and Savior. Which is partly why he composed the Six Chief Parts of the catechism. It’s in a question and answer format, with proof passages contained within each answer. Other Protestant reformers sprang from the Lutheran movement.

  • Sorcerygod April 20, 2019, 2:07 PM

    The religions of the world — which have been villainized and deified in equal measure, depending on who looks at them — aren’t clear examples on all counts.

    Sometimes, they neglect to prohibit or encourage certain vital things. Christianity, for example, could be a little clearer about a woman’s relationship to her man. This essential point is lost in a rather large book that could have surely spared a paragraph or two.

    Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. Come visit my website and leave as many comments as you can. I’m at:


    see you there

  • Jewel Atkins April 20, 2019, 2:22 PM

    As I recall, even within my very short life, sorcerygod, Christianity had very distinct and complementary roles for women in relation to their men. It is only in the last 50+ years that chaos of the sexes is the norm.

  • Sorcerygod April 20, 2019, 2:51 PM

    However unappetizing it is, tax season involves charitable donations to churches too. A lot of us take advantage of this time, as if we were frogs catching flies on the tongue. A lot of times we make the mistake of thinking we can cheat the government for the sake of our religion! I know a woman who tried cheating the government on her home sales (she was a realtor) and she got BURNED, bigtime.

    Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Christianity never advises you double-cross or double-Cuck the gov’t. Government is still on religion’s radar. Already, we see televangelists emphasizing that their donations are exempt from government’s tithe. But government gets far, far, FAR more money than does religion. Catholicism, once economically supreme, a veritable giant, surrendered its lands and properties without a whelp. Now shrunken onto Vatican City, it restricts its activities to preaching, husbanding old manuscripts, and advising those who care to listen.

    Let us celebrate Catholicism!

    • Snakepit Kansas April 16, 2022, 6:14 AM

      My two have gone to Catholic school in Wichita since pre-school and are now sophomore and junior. Fantastic education, especially if compared to the local public schools. Most of my tithes go to the local Catholic church or local maternity home. The money is not squandered.

  • Casey Klahn April 20, 2019, 3:31 PM

    Easter greetings to all.

  • AesopFan April 20, 2019, 6:55 PM

    Patvann –
    Tabernacle Choir 2019 Easter concert, in progress as I write.
    Can probably be replayed later.


  • ghostsniper April 21, 2019, 4:44 AM

    Studying that past pik.
    How the tears were made.
    Seems a shadow line and a shiny mark complete the illusion.

    • Snakepit Kansas April 16, 2022, 6:15 AM

      Shading with paint I have not mastered.

  • MMinLamesa April 22, 2019, 2:31 AM

    The skill needed to create the sculpture at the top is off the chart. I just viewed some contemprary stone sculptures and am completely unamazed. Nor surprised.

    Way back in 64(?) I attended the World’s Fair in NY. The exhibit that has been burned into my brain, in fact aside from signing the book that went into the time capsule, I remeber nothing else, was seeing The Pieta.

    You entered a darkened room on a slowly moving track, slightly curved, to view the illuminated Pieta. After all these years, I can still feel the goose bumps. It must have clicked something in my brain as I’ve been an artist all my life.

  • ghostsniper April 22, 2019, 7:18 AM

    It is much like using a pencil, though the tool is bigger, and you hold it with both hands, while also wearing a face shield and hearing protection. The shaping of raw stone into a work of art. The common denominator between the pencil and stone chisel, and every other tool of creation, is the fact that the artist must first “see” the goal in hi minds eye. It is impossible to create blindly. I have been doing technical drawings for the largest stone manufacturer in the state for more than 10 years. The level of precision required is stunning at first. No more than a 1/16 of an inch in any direction. In recent years the precision has been changed to metric to the 4th decimal point for directing the 3 axis robots that do the most intricate stuff. I have seen a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ solid block of stone converted into an amazing 8′ x 8′ x 8′ corinthian column capital in less than 4 hours by robots. I have seen a cartoon owl 4″ tall scanned in 3d and scaled up 24x and robot carved into a block of stone 8′ tall. As the robots take over everything and the “minds eye” is no longer necessary I wonder if the presence of humans in the field of art will someday be extinct.

    “In the year 2525, if man is still alive….”
    Zager & Evans, 1969

  • Suzan April 22, 2019, 7:56 AM

    Can someone please tell me where the sculpture at the top is located and when it was done and by whom? It is breathtaking.

  • DrTedNelson April 22, 2019, 9:25 AM
  • Stargazer April 11, 2020, 9:39 AM

    2,000 years ago this very day Jesus was still in his mid-twenties, walking the earth just like we do now.

  • Fluella De Vil April 11, 2020, 10:06 AM

    This post doesn’t like being in proximity to the post below it. The purple Easter bunny makes it feel dirty. I guess one could say you’re versatile, from the ridiculous to the sublime.

  • Vanderleun April 11, 2020, 10:47 AM

    Constructed last year (see comment dates) and resurrected this year.

  • Kurt Miller April 11, 2020, 12:00 PM

    We wait, we wait. In sorrow, but in hope, The Blessed Hope, that drew near to us when we were so far away. The Love of God slain that we might live. Be still, now. Wait…

  • Vanderleun April 11, 2020, 4:36 PM

    “I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
    For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
    For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
    But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
    Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
    So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

  • foo April 11, 2020, 5:44 PM

    Its been said that Psalm 22 is about Good Friday, the question
    and Psalm 24, is about the answer

    And in between, the shortest but most well known, waiting for it…wondering, reminding ourselves…

    The Lord is my shepherd;
    I shall not [a]want.
    2 He makes me to lie down in [b]green pastures;
    He leads me beside the [c]still waters.
    3 He restores my soul;
    He leads me in the paths of righteousness
    For His name’s sake.

    4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil;
    For You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

    5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
    You anoint my head with oil;
    My cup runs over.
    6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    All the days of my life;
    And I will [d]dwell in the house of the Lord

  • Rob De Witt April 11, 2020, 6:14 PM

    Thanks, friends.

    The 23rd Psalm, and those lines from Eliot, were all there was for dark year after dark year. Eliot really nailed the stark realization that hope and waiting must be without form, because hoping for and waiting for were what brought me here in the first place.

    For years my only prayer was “Nevertheless, Thy will be done. I accept.”

  • Graham April 11, 2020, 8:27 PM

    Dear Gerard, Thank you so much for the Veiled Christ, the perfect gift for Holy Saturday. Grazie mille.

  • MIKE GUENTHER April 12, 2020, 6:40 AM

    I’ve seen the Shroud of Turin. It was awe inspiring. It was also the last time it was publicly shown, as far as I know.

    We waited in line for hours to walk through the church and see it. We traveled down from Germany with a group of people from the LDS to see it.

  • jd April 16, 2022, 6:06 AM

    Love David Warren’s writing.