The crypts in Rev. Wilfredo Benitez-Rivera’ photograph shelter the bones and bodies of a monastery’s beloved. They mark holy places and stand guard over the relics of holy lives. Relics were once so central to Christian liturgy that our altars were built with a special opening, secreted in the center and covered with a stone or plaque, that would house the bone of a martyr or saint, or a fragment from a building where miracles were recorded.
Some today still keep true to the practice of honoring holy lives, though I’d say it is high time for a revival. Who is the beloved in your diocese? In the Diocese of California I think of our mothers and fathers who raise their children to be strong and humane citizens while surrounded by violence, educational challenges and unemployment. In this diocese I think of the elderly who raise their grandchildren and their neighbors grandchildren because drugs, AIDS and despair have claimed so many parents. Who are the martyrs in your town? Whose holy bones would you place in a crypt?
On View: Places of Silence V, photograph by the Rev. Wilfredo Benitez-Rivera. From the ECVA Visual Prelude Gracious Spirit, available here.