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September 09, 2012


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I saw it on the news, the high school thing. I thought that was near you; I'm glad your kids are ok.

He giveth, and he taketh away. And it's all, in the end, for good.
I have to convince myself of that.
Thinking of you today...

Also very glad your family is well.

I've sung for a number of funerals in my church, and some for grandparents (and weddings in my church, and family weddings, in which we put a song in at meditation for the deceased grandparents)...and it's always a little "out of body." Except when it's not, and my throat seizes up, usually on lines like, "When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart..." and especially the In Paradisum: "et cum Lazaro, quondam paupere, aeternam habeas requiem." How well I know the person for whom we're singing doesn't always correspond to the strength of the reaction: this rite is something that binds us together, whether we know each other or not.

Which, come to think of it, is probably why I'm also so deeply moved when, in a funeral home, the priest leads prayer: a room full of people who may or may not come to prayer regularly suddenly remember how to speak these sorts of words together: Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon them. O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.

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