© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Church Going

Church Going


by Philip Larkin

Church Going Spirituality Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #4

And that much can never be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious (59-60)

After wondering about the decline of religion, the speaker admits that religion will never really disappear from the world because people will always feel the spiritual longings that eventually lead to religion and churches. These longings will strike people as a hunger to be more serious and, again, Larkin tries to use words to express a feeling that can never be totally captured in language.

Quote #5

And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round. (61-63)

After insisting that spirituality will always be a part of human experience, Larkin's speaker closes by suggesting that spirituality is meaningful because there is significance in the fact that so many people over the centuries have believed in religion. There is something to the fact that so many dead people lie around churches and, no matter how much modern skeptics might want to write off faith and spirituality as ridiculous things, they cannot deny the influence that these things have had on the lives of billions of people. In this final line, Larkin might suggest that the thing he finds most attractive about spirituality is the way that it can make you feel like part of a community of other believers that goes back hundreds and thousands of years.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...