Robert Farrar Capon, 1925-2013

One of the great theologians of the Episcopal Church has died. Robert Farrar Capon was the author of one of my favorite books, The Supper of the Lamb, in addition to many others. His vision of grace and of the heavenly banquet continues to inspire and influence me, more than thirty years after I first read it.
“Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe, flinging the sweetness of its cassations to every window, pounding at every door in a hilarity beyond all liking and happening, until the prodigals come out at last and dance, and the elder brothers finally take their fingers out of their ears.” ― Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace

“The bread and the pastry, the cheeses and wine, and the sugar go into the Supper of the lamb because we do. It is our love that brings the city home. It is I grant you, an incautious and extravagant hope. But only outlandish hopes can make themselves at home.” ― Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection

“My life is a witness to vulgar grace–a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up a ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying theif’s request–”Please, remember me”–and assures him, “You bet!” A grace that is the pleasure of the Father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus the Christ, who left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mind.  This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.” (Source:

An interview with him from Mockingbird (Sept. 2, 2011)

5 thoughts on “Robert Farrar Capon, 1925-2013

  1. Pingback: RIP, Robert Farrar Capon

  2. Pingback: Fingerprints of Robert Farrar Capon | saint benedict's table

  3. Thanks for posting this very fine cross-section of quotations. I’m finding myself deeply saddened by the death of a man who influenced me deeply; as a preacher, a priest, and an everyday sinner in need of the kind of audacious grace Capon proclaimed so well. I had the chance to visit with him twice; once in 2000, and again in 2004. I had the tape recorder along with me in 2000, and got some pretty wonderful words recorded:

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