The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

“When wilt thou save the people?”

A classic Advent scene, from out of a time capsule: the opening moments of the movie “Godspell,” from 1973, featuring a very young Victor Garber, long before he was on the Titanic.

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posted November 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I always wanted to start the first Sunday in Advent’s homily by singing this opening line…”Preeepare ye the way of the Lord, preeepare ye the way of the Lord.”
I know…I’m wierd…
peace to all
[Not weird at all, oldest…I saw a priest do exactly that a few years ago, and it was memorable and exhilerating. Of course, he was a good singer, and that helped… :-) Dcn. G.]

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The Ironic Catholic

posted November 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm

The only thing about this clip–Godspell is such a touching musical on stage and the movie so completely, utterly sucks. If you’re watching this and cringing, go to your high school’s version of it instead. It’s worth it (or it can be).

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posted November 29, 2010 at 6:35 am

I agree Ironic, this show is so much better in person…
And the repeating lines of “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” are powerful indeed, as they are impregnated with the truth that the Will of God is coming…Christ is coming…that all is actually not okay now (even tho we fight so hard to FEEL that we are okay) but will indeed be okay someway, somehow…
These words ring especially true for those with the Gift of Faith to see and understand Truth…Not see and understand moments and ideas as truth because they put one at ease (tho often Christ does this!), but rather sees and understands moments and ideas as truth because they in fact are true…

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Daniel formerly from Knoxville

posted November 29, 2010 at 7:52 am

I loved the movie, AND I saw an amateur version of ” Godspell ” at the University’s Theater. They changed the ending by showing a ” Resurrection “( The actor playing Jesus bounding back on stage after being carried off in a solemn candle – lit procession ). It & ” Jesus Christ, Superstar ” were released at about the same time, & I thought that ” Godspell ” was considerably less cynical, even at the age of 15.
Some people were critical of it because it showed Jesus in Harlequin make – up sporting rainbow suspenders & a paper Superman ” S ” on his chest. Those folks just needed their bran that day.
Thanks for bringing back a great memory !!

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Deacon Norb

posted November 29, 2010 at 8:27 am

“Jesus Christ Superstar” as cynical? Maybe!
But maybe — just maybe — it gives an extreme vision of what eternal punishment of hell is all about. Those who head there may well be stuck — totally alone — constantly repeating the memories of their own betrayals and sins.
Anyone who actually sees “JC Superstar” in performance (and I have seen at least three “live” productions — not to mention watching the movie at least a dozen times), has to understand that the action is all taking place through the perspective — the “eye” — of Judas Iscariot.
His punishment for the betrayal of Christ — according to the play-script — is that he is stuck in a time-warp. He is alive in the “here-and-now” almost in a permanent confinement within our modern world and has to constantly reflect back upon his guilt and maybe stupidity.
–That is why Judas has to be costumed in modern attire even though the rest of the cast are in costumes presumed to be characteristic of first century Judea.
–That is why, in the movie, there is a jet fighter that unexpectedly appears and why modern arms are sold in the temple marketplace.
–That is why the anthem constantly repeats the theme of doubt.
Cynical, maybe; Horribly prophetic, more likely.

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