Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all of you who are celebrating today! Here are a few Easter-related quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books.


If you haven't read all of the OUTLANDER books, there are spoilers below. Read at your own risk.

Easter eggs

1) I like Roger's memories of Easter with his kids:

[Roger's] heart rose, in spite of his anxiety, when he came to the top of the pass and saw Lallybroch below him, its white-harled buildings glowing in the fading light. Everything lay peaceful before him: late cabbages and turnips in orderly rows within the kailyard walls, safe from grazing sheep--there was a small flock in the far meadow, already bedding for the night, like so many woolly eggs in a nest of green grass, like a kid’s Easter basket.

The thought caught at his throat, with memories of the horrible cellophane grass that got everywhere, Mandy with her face—and everything else within six feet of her—smeared with chocolate, Jem carefully writing Dad on a hard-boiled egg with a white crayon, then frowning over the array of dye cups, trying to decide whether blue or purple was more Dad-like.

(From WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 29, "Return to Lallybroch". Copyright © 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

I'm Jewish, so I don't celebrate Easter, but we did occasionally dye eggs when I was little, just for fun, and this bit makes me smile, remembering that.

Christ Crucified by Diego Velazquez

2) This quote from BEES is very appropriate for Easter weekend! (The image above is Diego Velazquez's "Christ Crucified", from 1632.)

What would I say to him, [Roger] wondered, if I should find myself called to accompany a man to his execution? He’d seen men killed, seen people die, certainly; much too often. But these were natural--if sometimes sudden and catastrophic--deaths. Surely it was different, a healthy man, sound of body, filled with life, and facing the imminent prospect of being deprived of that life by the decree of the state. Worse, having one’s death presented as a morally elevating public spectacle.

It struck Roger suddenly that he’d been publicly executed, and the milk and French toast shifted at the sudden memory.

Aye, well...so was Jesus, wasn’t He?

He didn’t know where that thought had come from--it felt like something Jamie would say, logical and reasonable--but it flooded him at once with unexpected feeling. It was one thing to know Christ as God and Savior and all the other capital-letter things that went with that. It was another to realize with shocking clarity that, bar the nails, he knew exactly how Jesus of Nazareth had felt. Alone. Betrayed, terrified, wrenched away from those he loved, and wanting with every atom of one’s being to stay alive.

Well, now you know what you’d say to a condemned man on his way to the gallows, don’t you?

(From GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 68, "Metanoia". Copyright © 2021 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

I have wondered since I first read this bit in BEES whether Roger will find a way to use this insight in a sermon some day. Maybe it's too personal, too private a reaction to share with a congregation? I don't know. But I really like the fact that he does feel that deep personal connection to what Jesus went through on the cross. Certainly it's a unique perspective that other ministers wouldn't have, to say the least!

Notre Dame at Easter

3) The photo above shows the Easter vigil at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, a few years before the 2019 fire. It looked very much as Jamie remembers:

"The church was all dark,” Jamie continued, “but the folk coming for the service would buy small tapers from the crones at the doors. It was something like this”--I felt, rather than saw, his motion at the sky above--“a great space above, all ringing wi’ the silence, and folk packed in on every side.” Hot as it was, I gave an involuntary shiver at these words, which conjured up a vision of the dead around us, crowding silently side by side, in anticipation of an imminent resurrection.

“And then, just when I thought I couldna bear the silence and the crowd, there came the priest’s voice from the door. ‘Lumen Christi!’ he called out, and the acolytes lit the great candle that he carried. Then from it they took the flame to their own tapers, and scampered up and down the aisles, passing the fire to the candles o’ the faithful.”

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 2, "In Which We Meet a Ghost". Copyright © 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Happy Easter to all of you who are celebrating today!

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