Resurrection Study

Pass, Donald

According to Pass, one day he saw through the window of his London home ‘a most beautiful face which appeared to be all gold. It seemed to expand through the window and embrace the whole room’. Unsettled by this experience he found himself soon after in the churchyard in Cuckfield, Norfolk, where he intended to make some drawings. He sat opposite the grave of a pilot, whose commemorative stone was in the shape of the Royal Air Force wings insignia: ‘Everything began to change and a tremendous darkness surrounded me. The whole landscape, churchyard, near and distant fields, seemed filled with thousands of figures Stretching to the horizon. In the blackness was a tremendous light; large winged figures with faces like lions … A veil had been lifted and I would never again see anything in the same way.

“Vision is not the right word” Donald Pass explains, “it really was like a veil had been lifted. I was so aware of it going on and yet it was if I wasn’t there, as if I was watching a film.”

It was eleven in the morning on a bright day but suddenly everything darkened, and a strange light appeared with a sound like the rushing of wind. Vast fields stretched before him in which he could see miles into the distance as if it were close by, and the sky was an infinite black space with great lights moving in it. He was standing with a host of figures and gradually, he became aware of angels standing with them and coming towards them the sky. The angels were descending and ascending, coming from all directions and in all sizes. Some had their faces obscured, some had very compassionate and beautiful faces, others had faces of lions like the angel he saw in the hedge when he was a child.

In the middle, an enormous angel descended with outstretched arms and a face which Donald Pass says he can not describe. His descent was accompanied by a tremendous chorus of sound. Higher and at a distance was a beautiful and strange face in profile that had long hair yet was neither male nor female. It seemed unaware of the figures below. All the light stemmed from that extraordinary head and from the angels. It was a strange light and unlike sunlight, it spread in such a way that all the figures were illuminated.

On the ground, figures lay still with forms rising out of them as if something was emerging from a chrysalis. Donald Pass remembers that it looked “almost like a transfiguration, a rebirth” of the soul from the body. There were figures standing, and others going in three directions: one towards very dark angels who stood near the horizon and others upward in great columns into the sky where angels gathered them in. The dark angels stood very still a long way away, but those closer seemed to gather figures towards them. There were gangs of angels standing together, figures grouping together, and figures which Donald Pass say he can’t describe standing together. There seemed at one point to be hands rising from the ground.

The vision lasted for several hours for when it began to fade, it was near six in the evening. However, Donald Pass recollects that during the vision it felt as if time did not exist and space was infinite. While it faded, he was aware of angels standing by him and completed several drawings of one he could still see. He sat at the graveyard a while after overcome with the experience. He had arranged to meet his wife, Jackie, at a nearby pub and while walking there, a woman stopped him to ask him if he was the artist at the graveyard. He affirmed that he was and she exclaimed, “it was the most extraordinary thing, but everything was dark except you, and you were surrounded by light.”