Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Matter of Life and Death

Today has been a strange sort of day. Death has been hovering in and around everything I've been doing. This morning I was at a funeral in Dublin, then went for lunch with John and Carmen and did a bit of exploring. We called into St Michan's Parish Church to see the mummies. The crypts under the church provide excellent conditions for preserving bodies, and they have some mummies on display in one of the vaults. You can see the toe nails of a nun from 400 years ago, and shake the hand of a crusader from 800 years ago. Creepy stuff! However, the best part of the tour is the guide, who throws in jokes and 'theatrical winks' (to quote a Divine Comedy song - small prize perhaps for the person who knows what it is) as he tells the stories of the dead.

We also showed John into Christ Church Cathedral for the first time, and again visited the crypts. But no mummies there; well, none without daddies too - but a different sort of mummy. Instead, you will find some of the equipment used in the Mass for James II before the Battle of the Boyne, and the celebratory silverware and Communion Plate given by King Billy (William III) after the Battle of the Boyne. The chalices and patens are huge!

This evening I've been writing a sermon for Thursday's exegesis class on the raising of Lazarus (John 11). So after all the death, it has been comforting and encouraging to hear again the words of Jesus - 'I am the resurrection and the life.' Amen.

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