Kathy M's memorial service was today. Because of who Kathy was, there was a lot more music than is standard (there were 3 choir anthems and 3 hymns the congregation sang).
The opening anthem was "The Deer's Cry" by Shaun Davey (based on St. Patrick's Breastplate -- the song which opens, "I arise today..."). I think I was crying by the end of that, and I definitely cried a lot during Molly's homily.
Crying, for me at least, feels like an emptying out, and I was thinking, early in the service, experiencing that feeling of being emptied, that it would be good to have Communion at the end of the service.
In part, I'm sure, because I'd seen this on Tumblr
awkwardbutaccurate: “foretaste of the feast to come” sounds really familiar, almost like it’s in the Eucharistic prayer. Anyone know?
galesofnovember: Google tells me it’s in the Lutheran Eucharistic liturgy. I think it’s in one of the rites in the BCP too, because I swear I’ve heard that phrase.
[My immediate response to "foretaste of the feast to come" was, "OF COURSE it's in the Eucharistic liturgy!" so when I saw gales' response I thought, "Oh, apparently I have absorbed my best friend's liturgy." I mean, I know it's not in the Communion liturgies my churches use, but...]
I would want it to be a real actual feast. Fine, it's a symbol, but a bite of bread dipped in juice (or wine) doesn't feel like a powerful symbol to me. I don't experience Communion as powerful magic, and that's in part just because of who I am, but also because I feel like there's "no there there" -- that if it's supposed to demonstrate Jesus' radical hospitality, and Jesus' enduring presence with us, and to model the Realm of God, then it should really be a feast.
Lord, what shall I do that IThe readings were:
can't quiet myself?
Here is the bread, and
here is the cup,
I can't quiet myself.
To enter the language of transformation!
-from Mary Oliver's "Coming to God: First Days"
"Sleeping in the Forest" - Mary Oliver
"Coming to God: First Days" - Mary Oliver
1 Corinthians 13:4-12
I knew Kathy was only 64 when she died, but I was still surprised, when I saw her daughters go up to the chancel to do the readings, how young they looked. They could be my age. Which, my parents are 53 and 61, so I suppose they probably are.
The closing hymn was "I'll Fly Away," which I have an active dislike for, but because I have heard so much about the grace with which Kathy approached death, I could tell myself that it meant something different in this context (even though while I was actually looking at the words I was aware I was stretching).
[Edit: During the Prayer time, Jeff M. acknowledged and opened up space for: the other griefs this brings to the surface (not limited to people who have died), the fact that Kathy could be difficult and inviting us to extend forgiveness to her, and if there was anything we felt like we wanted/needed forgiveness for (e.g., things we had done, things we hadn't done, ...) to allow ourselves to feel forgiveness from Kathy just like we had just extended forgiveness to her. This is the first funeral I've been to at FCS, so I don't know if this is standard here, but I really liked it.]
At the reception, I told Harold (who was wearing a suit) that I felt very undressed looking at him (I was wearing my black shirt with the glitter Phoenix on it, blue jeans, and my lace-up flats with stars on them). He did say he liked my shirt :)
During the reception, there was an open mic for anyone who wanted to share.
Her ex-husband spoke, and he said in keeping with the theme of the grace with which she dealt with her illness(es), she had reached out to him and told him she harbored no ill feelings about their breakup and that she was glad he was the father of her children. I cried.
I got up to get some juice and a guy got up and introduced himself as "Ron" and his voice sounded familiar before I saw his face and I realized it was ron_newman
. He talked about having worked with Kathy on various Somerville things and I think I had already started crying, but where I clutched my heart was when he said he hadn't know that she was sick until he heard of her death last week, and so he wanted to come here to be able to say goodbye to Kathy because he hadn't been able to say goodbye to her before she died. While I know that people I know from church have lives outside of church, it hadn't really hit me that there would be people who would grieve her death but who wouldn't have been a part of her circles such that they would have found out about her illness before her death.
Jenny U got up and I started crying basically immediately because Jenny was her neighbor and was the connection that brought Kathy to FCS and I knew Jenny must be so sad -- and indeed Jenny was crying throughout her talking, and so I was doing the "crying because the other person is crying" thing the whole time.
A friend of Kathy's asked if anyone knew "Ezekiel Saw the Wheel" (which, sidebar, blessing of the bicycles!)
and led a sing-along of that.
Betsy M (I think) led an impromptu "If I Had a Hammer," which song I don't really know but which I loved at the end.
***"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]Thus says God to these bones: "I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am God." (Ezekiel 37:5-6, NRSV, alt.)( Collapse )