Friday, 23 May 2008

Today the Church was open and ready by 8.30am to receieve the body of Margaret. Margaret died peacefully in her home on the day of Pentecost. She was a member of our congregation and supported the Mothers Union. Her son and daughter in law arrived just after 8.30am and we were joined by Fr Mark. At 8.45pm the hearse arrived and Margaret was laid in church in front of the High Altar. The Easter Candle was alight bearing witness to the Easter Faith which we celebrate. After the 'Miserere' and some prayers the coffin was sprinkled and covered with the Pall.
At 9am Fr Mark and I recited the Office of the Dead next to the coffin. Mass at 9.30am was celebrated in honour of St Urban I Pope & Martyr whose feast day it is. On Monday we received a sizeable relic of the Saint that will be divided between our four altars (see previous post of 21 May). A lady came to Mass to give thanks for a succesful operation on her husband David for whom we were praying.

Following a long conversation with a social worker I went to school where I was part of a team interviewing for a new teaching post. We had four applicants. In the meantime Fr Mark was giving communion to the housebound and visiting the sick in hospital.

By 1.30 Fr Mark and I were in church where everything was prepared for the funeral at 2pm. Servers, boat-boy, verger were all in place, books were distributed and refreshments in the Hall set up. It was a Mass of Requiem in which the main black chasuble was used for the first time in a Requiem Mass at the death of Queen Victoria. A good congregation turned up for the Mass which was indeed a celebration of Easter hope and faith. During communion two of the grandaughters of Margaret played the Ave Maria of Gonoud, one on the organ and the other on the flute. A very good spread was provided after Mass in the hall and people had the opportunity to renew old acquaintances.
I had to cut all this short to go back to school where a decision making meeting was held, as I write, the job is being offered to the succesful candidate. It was a difficult decision to come to, but I believe it is the right one.
Vespers will be offered privately tonight and it shall bring to an end a very busy day for Fr Mark and I, but also the blessing to know that we have done our best in washing the feet of his people.
My family and I will commence our post Easter break tomorrow and I have promised myself to keep away from the blog too. I shall update again once this week is over.

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