Thursday 4 February
One of those day when I have to breathe deeply, swallow hard and lead a funeral of a dear friend who in five years of knowing seems to have told me and taught me a great deal. You could not argue with him because he would not argue. He entered a room and smiled and greeted everyone as an individual. A man of stories and sociability. A man who simply lived and relished the company of others.
A prayer I read this morning:
Lord, lead us to our heavenly homeby single steps of self-restraint and deeds of righteousness; through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The difference between a wedding and a funeral?
Well at a funeral people walk past a hearse, church and funeral cortège without even raising their heads or making eye contact with anyone involved. Maybe a show of respect or acknowledgement of the solemnity of death.
A wedding dress and best bib and tucker (with button hole) perhaps attract the good memories of family occasions, while a black clad gathering has the opposite effect.
A wedding – passers by stand and stare or just stand and smile – in a dream-like state.
Perhaps it is easier to be happy with someone than mourn with them.
You can talk about someone at a funeral and the congregation may cry, or laugh, nod their head as they recognise the person you describe from a mere hour or so recounting a life.
But when a son or daughter, husband or wife, describing someone as they gaze in the middle distance and are re-winding to earlier and happier moments. Time then stands still, reverses into those eras recounted and the loved one, departed, seems present and alive.
And with that thought commendation and committal are appropriate. Not just thoughts and memories but tangible realities of the dearest kind.