Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More thanks...

to all who prayed for the funeral yesterday. God was very much in evidence. The crematorium chapel was packed with loving friends, whose prayers and support carried the family through the whole experience with their heads held high. The friend who spoke and the friend who sang (ps 121) both managed to combine honesty and love,- in such a way that the unfortunate curate leading the service was close to tears herself at one point. However, all was well...and, thanks be to God, there was no-one immediately following us into the chapel, so we could, and did, take as long as we needed.
I cannot tell you what a privilege it has been to walk with this family through the past week; I found it quite hard to switch off and leave them with God last night, not because I was anxious for them, but because we had become so close. But then, I always have had trouble with boundaries...
But today is another funeral, this time for a lady who died peacefully at the proverbial ripe old age. Her family's sorrow is no less acute, and her life every bit as precious.
What an amazing calling...to be invited in to share such moments and to try and make sense of them in the light of God's love. Mind-blowing!


Unknown said...

Kathryn, I'm glad to hear it went so well. Officiating at a funeral with grace and meaning is a gift and a calling within our calling, I believe. Bless you today as well.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this. I admit struggle with funerals or more specifically our reaction as Christians to death.

That said, in June my 7 year old God-daughter died. She IS in a better place, and the turn out to celebrate her life was so encouraging to us all.

In Finland there is a tradition that everyone presents their flowers - says something. I was so glad we could take all the time we needed.
As a church we pulled together and one lady said to me afterwards, I never understood about God before today. That helped too

The other funeral was a lady of 101. I couldn't understand the tears, though mine fell too. She was the wife of the pastor many decades ago. Even after his death she lived her life to the full.

But Kathryn your parish is blessed to have a curate like you, who stand with them and mourn with them. Be blessed as you extend his love and compassion to those who need it most.

jo(e) said...

What a special vocation. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

If you've been over at my place, you know that I just went through this, for the very first time, since my ordination a year ago.

I wrote to a friend last week that it was "harder/more holy/more satisfying than I thought it would ever be."

We are indeed priveleged to stand with our little clay feet on such holy gound. Bless you.

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