Monday, March 06, 2006

Sunday Service

Sunday, yesterday, a day off from rehearsals. Besides morning worship service there was an afternoon Memorial Service for a member in his early fifties who died of cancer-- a much loved member, a professor at a nearby university and a leader of the church youth group, whose sons are a little older than my oldest grandsons. My daughter and I and my that grandson went. This was closer to a funeral that the standard Memorial, which more usually takes place some weeks after the death-- this was a matter of days, and feelings were raw or numb. Our church was full to overflowing. This congregation is good at this communal grieving and celebrating-- surprisingly, since Unitarianism has no comforting doctrine of an Afterlife. My daughter and grandson Alex knew the family, the kids sometimes played together, but I really didn't know him. The family spoke or read poems, and a friend or two told what his friendship meant to them, and a student and a fellow teacher described how he inspired them. Music he loved was played, and favorite hymns sung. I came away with such a sense of the preciousness of life, and the living presence of love that outlasts death. I hope my grandson did too. I felt thankful to those who shared with me and the rest of us who had not had the privilege what it means to be part of the life of a good and brave and loving person.


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