In a few minutes, I will be entering the temple to begin the lamentations of the great god Wesir, known to the classical world and beyond as Osiris. Once again the cycle of the year turns and we honor the most quiet, most somber, most moving of holidays. Once again, God is dead.
Not dying; not about to be resurrected. Wesir is a dead god, a god that goes to the otherworld/afterlife/netherworld/whatever you want to call the place where dead people are and doesn't come back. Ever. He is as gone from us as gone can be. His voice is no longer heard among the other gods as They gather; His face no longer lit with the rosy glow of life itself. Unlike Jesus Who is returned to his place after a time of testing...Wesir will not come back to us shining in bright white robes as an angel rolls back the stone. He will not come back to us at all; only through the memory of His life, and His sacrifice, will we continue to understand Him and know Him and love Him. This god loved people so very much that He was willing to forsake His immortality to make sure they had a god wherever it is that they go when they die, and a brother Who loved Him enough to help Him achieve death. It is this selfless, permanent act that is remembered overnight in the Vigil we now face and face again one night every year.
The scope of our loss as human beings, and our gain, cannot be measured. Wesir's life and death are intertwined in such a way that He cannot truly be separated from either. What He offers us is renewal, continuance, life in the form of going on. He shows us that there is no such thing as an ending, only a change of position. He assures us that we will not go to that place alone, nor will we be forgotten or neglected once we get there. Every dead person is a Wesir, a dying and yet living one, Who is part of the eternity of life's endless cycle, reborn at dawn in the sun and in spring as the life-giving ground, emerging from the life-giving waters of Aset's tears. Where He goes, so shall we one day, and then we will understand the Mystery in full.
I will pray for all of our ancestors tonight, and all of the living: the continuous circle of beings that inhabit our planet and whom we can call family. May we all be together in the darkness, praying for them and Him as They pass.