Good Friday

If you go into a church on Good Friday -- a Catholic one, anyway -- the altar is bare, and all is draped in darkness. God is dead.

The old royalist saying was, "The king is dead: Long live the king." But this isn't quite that, although that mimicks this as well as a mortal human royalty can mimic the true royalty of the divine.

God is dead. Long live... God. Not another God, or a different God, but the same God who decided to pass through death as a kind of experience of his creation. As a way of becoming closer to his creatures. We make much of the suffering, but it is still a kind of play. It is a play he chose, for reasons of his own, a play meant to cheer us. It might even make us merry, to think of the cheating of death and the stealing of the sting of sins.

It is the darkest day of the liturgical year. Revel in it.


james said...

"The groan was at once dereliction of power and creation of power. In it, far off, beyond vision in the depths of all the worlds, a god, unamenable to death, awhile endured and died."

Grim said...


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I liked the perspective of being merry at the cheating of death. For those of us who now live on the other side of Easter, to bring the quiet, triumphant thought "Death is about to be cheated. Satan is about to come to destruction" is a wonderful hope underneath the solemnity of Good Friday.

Texan99 said...

I took the 2-4am shift at the Easter vigil. The end of the Maundy Thursday service is the quiet, heartbreaking stripping of the alter and dimming of the church, with everyone filing out silently. When I arrived at the church last night the cross was draped in black but the altar was otherwise bare and dark, the empty tomb. Tonight begins the resurrection, the news that nothing is as we feared, that everything is different from this moment on. Tomorrow morning is flowers on the cross.

Anonymous said...

Good Friday is one of the few times that my place of worship follows High Church tradition - the cross is draped in black, three purple candles are on the altar, and only the minimum of lights break the gloom of the sanctuary. The final music was "Komm, Susser Tod," (Come, sweet Death)by Bach, then silence and darkness.


ymarsakar said...

Your description is not too far away from what actually happened, Grim. Although reality is interpreted through the quantum lens of perspective and subjective willpower manifesting as reality.

To use mmo game terms, there is an objective universe called a shard or server. But there are also clients for each individual. Client side vs server side. The two communicate to form a reality, but the two are not the same reality or using the same data necessarily pov wise.

ymarsakar said...

Lucifer reprising his role as a satan, the prosecutor of mankind acting as ego and counter agent to the divine for free will, is no longer in the Pit, because he has been relieved of his duties and returned to his archangel name, Hey da el. In the same mold as Micha El or Gabr El.

I was surprised to find out that the Vatican's usage of Lucifer was closer to being correct than incorrect, although it was still a misinterpretation due to Isaiah's weirdness.

Lucifer as Prometheus and Loki, makes a lot more sense now.