Classic Covers: Sunday Morning Slackers

Poor, late-rising sinner. He really wants the Sunday paper, and needs that milk for his coffee. But who should be outside his house enjoying fellowship with good parishioners but the minister himself! The Post editors commiserated. “Miss church,” they said, “and if you see no one else all afternoon, you are bound to meet the pastor.” There must be a moral in artist Constantin Alajalov’s 1948 cover.

At least the slug in Norman Rockwell’s May 16, 1959 cover got out of bed on time for church. He’s just not going. Curled up with the Sunday paper, he feels a decided chill in the air as his properly turned out family marches behind him on the way to church. If you’ll look closely, you’ll see something devilish about the man’s tousled hair – Rockwell’s little joke, no doubt. Perhaps Dad will repent by next Sunday.

Well, we’re gradually improving here. The gentleman in artist Charles MacLellan’s 1912 cover got up, dressed nicely and made it all the way to the pew. Alas, to the dismay of the Mrs., he fell asleep during the singing (we assume, from the open hymnal she is holding). Let us hope for her sake that his snores don’t drown out “Rock of Ages”.

The women’s choir is getting ready in the two-part cover by Thornton Utz. The top panel shows the silver-haired organist preparing to sit, no doubt wondering about the chaos in the dressing room behind her. But as the bottom panel shows, all the ladies make it on time. Well, almost. While the choir opens, two young ladies (or maybe one and a half) are scampering to their spots. But at least their songbooks are open and their voices are preceding them. And once they catch their breath, they can send up a little prayer of thanks that the congregation cannot see the state of the choir room.