We had the fortune to attend a friend's father's funeral this morning. It was a very beautiful, pared back catholic service with all the traditions (referred to by my mother as the "bells and smells") highlighting and illuminating the symbolism of the faith, the spiritual and all of those things abstract but tangible during these times. I was very moved to be part of this passage of this quiet man whose strength in his faith, belief in his spiritual journey, a rock for his family and how all of this was celebrated in a manner that honored his life. The priest brought such a focus on the liturgy the way he read and sang it--focusing on the transformation of the wine into blood, and the bread into Christ's body, highlighting the sanctity of using incense and holy water to bless the body and spirit of the man who has gone. The readings were significant as was the homily--with the priest linking the way this man lived his life in his faith to Peter in a reading from the Bible. It was poetic the way he brought the broad and philosophical down to the individual--but did it he did with a gentle grace. I was touched in the almost shaker like simplicity of the service, the absolute heart that was prevalent in the church and the sense of peace in his transition. It was memorable. I am blessed to have been able to be there.
May he rest in peace.