The sad reality of death in childbirth shocked me out of the British fantasy world I am usually in, while watching Carson try unsuccessfully to keep all things proper and Granny rendered almost speechless.
Despite all appearances to the contrary, the rich are not in control of life and death. Nor are their capable servants. God alone holds that power. Sybil uttered a feeble attempt at faith before she died, the first I have heard of any such connection of God that was meaningful, although the trappings of religion can be traced everywhere in the daily lives of the Earl and his family. From the careful attention to tradition, church sacraments, and male responsibility, to caring for those under the Earl's employ, to the church that owes its patronage to the Abbey itself, to the strict moral code the pervades every scene, all these elements have their beginnings in the Christian faith, the faith that a modern England has nowadays abandoned almost entirely, its cathedrals and abbeys notwithstanding.
As a person of faith, I find myself wondering as I watch what part (if any) a personal faith has in the lives of the Earl and Lady Grantham, and what (if any) changes, the death of a child will have on this. I expect a cursory mention of Sybil's eternal destination at least, after the raw grief and shock subsides. The window into DA is never wide enough for me, I suppose. Since I've got my head stuck in, I want to know everything!