Friday, 17 February 2017

Attending A Village Funeral.

A well attended funeral.

Funerals and the cause of them, dying, are par for the course and yesterday was a nice send off for a lovely village character and gentleman. As the saying goes, he slipped quietly into the night.

As is usual in the days following a death, discussions of the how, when and where were in full swing. Especially in a little village such as ours. Lately, I've been around folks who are already discussing the merits of the how and their preference of the above way. Yikes, no need to remind the grim reaper of oneself too early.

Yesterday was an almost spring like day. Sun shining despite the early morning temperature still hovering around minus 4 or so. The funeral started at 10 and unless you stood in the sunshine, it still felt wintry. Having had an inkling that the local church would be cold, we tried to dress warmly. Not so easy, when the funeral dress code needs to be adhered to.

The local firemen ( Bob too ) came to pay their last respects for one of their former members and were all in dress uniform, seated in the front of the church. Falling prey to odd feelings of claustrophobia, I chose the first pew coming in, and the isle seat. Just in case I needed to bolt.

Sitting there a bit too early for the service gave me an opportunity to really have a look at the church. It is one of those delightful catholic marvels. Small, but with beautiful little bits of interesting details and artistic genius. The huge stained glass windows alone are stunning to sit under, especially when the sun's rays bring the differently coloured pieces to life.

Most fascinating of all is a wooden beam high above the altar with two inscriptions.

Built in 1751 and extended in 1936
I sat there thinking about the men who had worked on the extension and if they had had any inkling of how their life would change drastically a mere three years later?

The meditative feeling of the service, really often an only place where one can be at peace with one's own thoughts, was harshly interrupted and pulled into the here and now by the unmistakable music of a cellphone. A personalized ring tone on top of it. Our local priest is known more for his strictness and despite everyone being at least over forty, a collective breath was held and one or two giggles barely stifled, but only a querying look was swept over the congregation until the ringing stopped.

Sometimes, these humorous intervals do make a somber affair more bearable and remind us that despite it being a funeral, life goes on and we shouldn't be afraid to live it.