Onward, Celeste (Six More Miles)

All heads bow as the six black-dressed men enter the fragrant, cold building carrying the heavy coffin. People standing beside the aisle raise their glances sideways to catch a forbidden glimpse of the wooden box in which there lies what was once a lover, friend, father or son.

The men pause a while. There seems to be something amiss with the coffin, their faces showing strain as if the box is growing too heavy for them to carry any further. One of the bearers makes a strained grunt as the handle which he holds fractures itself from its wooden bed. For some odd reason the coffin is dramatically increasing its weight by the second.

As one handle shears off, so the others follow. Even stranger, the coffin falls to the ground, shooting downwards with extra-gravitational force as if it were being attracted by a powerful magnet. As it hits the ground it shatters, sending fragments of wood spinning off in all directions. There is a scream from the congregation. I find myself rather enjoying all of this.

To everyone's dumb struck amazement, no half-eaten body spills from the box. No bones or flesh. The coffin was full of nothing but water.

He was nothing but water.

The widow is the first. She gazes upwards to the ceiling with a bizarre, detached look on her face. She points her index finger to the roof and whines - He is risen...he is risen...

Soon the words and actions are taken up by everyone, all aimlessly wandering across the church floor, muttering these words, no one aware of the presence of anyone else. I don't know why, but I decide to join in. The widow then leads us all out to the graveyard where the words take on an eerie, magical context. She leads us right up to the plot where her husband was to be buried and jumps right into the hole, still shrieking the cantrip. Without asking, we fill the hole in with our bare hands. She still repeats the words as we erect the stone and stamp the ground down tight. Her muffled voice recedes.

We return to the church where the Priest breaks out the communion wine and we all get well pissed and have a bit of a sing-song with the organist.

If this is religion then it's alright!