The Stripping of the Altars

Posted April 13, 2017 8:40 pm by David Warren

The Stripping of the Altars

As Christ was stripped of his garments, so the altars are stripped of their coverings in the traditional Maundy Thursday celebration. “They parted my garments amongst them: and upon my vesture they cast lots.” Following hard upon this antiphon is the recitation of Psalm XXI, the Deus meus: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
It is an arresting Psalm, with its shockingly exact prevision of the Crucifixion, centuries before the event took place. It was very much in my thoughts, about the time I “lost my faith” in Atheism, some forty-one years ago while crossing a footbridge in

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