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Today I officiated at my sister’s funeral

Weakened through covid 19, she succumbed

In her sleep to its deathly power.

Our family, grief stricken, unable to visit

To give the last hug, to hold her hands, make the sign of the cross.

A feeling of abandoning this person

Overtakes our emotions.

No moment to embrace our loved one adds grief on grief.

We give our sister the beauty of a Requiem Mass

With uplifting prayer, music and song, embroidered with hope and light.

She lived life to the full, a life of giving, generosity, caring,

Compassion for all who seemed lost,

A mother who was an encourager, a shelter, a nurturer

Who sought the best and brought it to fruition.

“Love is patient and kind: love is not resentful or jealous

Or rude… but seeks only what is good.”

This love found expression in the life of this woman.

Her coffin now covered with the Baptismal Robe of Dignity

A beautiful garland of flowers gesturing affection

The crucifix and bible placed gently, symbols of her faith and prayer.

Now we honour her body with the ancient prayers of the Church

Breaking through the silence of this place.

I feel privileged to preside at this Eucharist

Familiar so often to Frances,

But the God this woman loved in life

Now takes her over a threshold to

A radiance of new life

A beatific vision given, a warmth of welcome

A feast begins for this beloved child of God is home.

(Fr. Tony – for my sister, Frances, died, 1st February)