Peter Gomes, larger than life, even in death

I can’t believe it’s been nearly two weeks since Harvard icon Peter Gomes passed on. I enjoyed reading the obituaries of him. There was a kind of affection for him that I found unusual for stories about religious figures, particularly Christian ones. Perhaps that was because of Gomes’ confounding nature. Or that his lengthy service at Harvard never made him aloof from the small town of his youth.

Or perhaps it was just his iconoclastic preaching style

I only heard Gomes preach once, last fall at the generally terrific Morning prayer services at Appleton Chapel. I was, honestly, disappointed by his homily. He talked of the renovation of the chapel and how it brought in the light, with its metaphorical relationship to Christ. I mostly remember how he tottered across the floor from the main sanctuary to the pulpit in the chapel. I remember worrying that he wouldn’t make it. Just weeks later, he had his stroke. The loss was definitely mine.

Leave a Reply