Shepton Beauchamp

In the heart of Cider Country

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church:vicars_letters:nov2011mag

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Loved and Lost

Children learn about death quite early in life, usually initially when a pet dies or perhaps when a grandparent “passes on”; sometimes they may lose a parent. As a society we tend to keep death at a distance; the vast majority of people now die in hospitals, care homes or hospices (when the family may not be present); undertakers “take care” of the deceased’s body; solicitors take care of the Will; etc.

So for many people the death of a loved one involves quiet a lot of people and paperwork, and this often results in those who grieve having no obvious way to express their love and despair. Funeral services are supposed to allow some sign of emotion but generally mourners prefer to take the “stiff upper lip” approach.

Until quite recently most people died at home, perhaps even surrounded by their families and friends. The body would be washed and dressed by the women of the family and then laid in state in the parlour (the best room of the house, used on very rare occasions). Friends and family would come by to view the deceased and to pay their respects. The coffin would be wheeled or carried through the streets to the nearest church for burial. The family were usually intimately involved at every stage and, because people died much younger than they do today, death was an ever present occurrence.

When I was a Hospice Chaplain, we decided that we wanted to give the bereaved a chance to mourn and remember, at a time after the funeral, when things were supposed to be “getting back to normal!” We believed that whilst close family still deeply and sometimes desperately, mourned the death of their loved one, their friends and more distant relations were getting on with life and so it appeared that the departed had been forgotten.

We thought that the grieving needed to be given an outlet, space to say out-loud “we haven’t forgotten you, we do remember and we still miss you”. So we started having memorial services to which we invited the relatives back; we had a service of quiet and reflection; we read out their names; we all lit candles in their honour; we kept faith in their memory and love.

We will be holding a service of this type at Shepton Church on Sunday 13th November at 5.00pm and everyone is invited; it is not just for Shepton villagers and it is not full of bells and incense! It is open to all and for everyone. If someone you love has died (at any time not just recently) and you want to remember them, why not join us for half an hours quiet, reflection, prayer and memory, as we seek to honour and remember those whom we love, but see no more.

Dear God: help me to say a last goodbye. Give me a quiet place to cry. Amen.

From the Registers

24 September 2011Holy Baptism at BarringtonCyrus, Niloufar and Laleh Farzad
Holy Matrimony at Shepton Guy Walsh and Katie Winter
30 September 2011Commander David Wilson, 69 years Funeral at Shepton Beauchamp followed by cremation
03 October 2011Mary Lucas, 91 yearsFuneral and burial at Puckington
19 October 2011Marion Wright, 68 years of BarringtonFuneral at church and burial at Ilminster

Others Recently Departed

10 October 2011Harold Salisbury, 89 years formerly of Shepton Beauchamp: cremation at Yeovil
19 October 2011Margaret Picken, 78 yearsof Shepton Beauchamp cremation at Yeovil

A young monk

Arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks copy the old canons and laws of the church by hand.

He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk, says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.”

He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot . . .

So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees the abbot banging his head against the wall and wailing. “We missed the R ! We missed the R ! We missed the R !”

His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, “What's wrong, father?”

With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, “The word was…

“CELEBRATE !!!”

Just a thought.....

Bought some 'rocket salad' yesterday but it went off before I could eat it!

A teddy bear is working on a building site. He goes for a tea break and when he returns he notices his pick has been stolen. The bear is angry and reports the theft to the foreman. The foreman grins at the bear and says “Oh, I forgot to tell you, today's the day the teddy bears have their picks nicked.”

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