Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Funeral

I can now say I've been to a funeral in my pajamas...and considering that the funeral was in Ireland, where people dress up for things, that's really shocking.

The church from which Nora was buried has streaming video available so that people who are unable to get to the service can watch it on their computers (they also broadcast the weekly masses for those who cannot get to church).

The problem, of course, is the time difference. The funeral was set for 11:15 a.m., Ireland time, which is 3:15 a.m. here.

Walt went to sleep for a few hours after dinner, but I decided to stay up. I had a dip in consciousness somewhere around 1 a.m. and tried to sleep for 2 hours, but couldn't get to sleep so I just stayed awake.

At 2 a.m., California time, I checked to see if the church camera was turned on. It was.

Church.jpg  (62141 bytes)

Once I began watching preparations being made for the upcoming service (it was not a Mass), I was interested in the proceedings and that kept me awake. Just about on the dot of 11:15 in Ireland, they began arriving, with the casket.

Enter.jpg  (56700 bytes)

Nora's daughter Ailbhe made opening remarks and I was surprised that she welcomed the people who were watching around the globe, including her ex-daughter-in-law in England, her grandson in Costa Rica, and the Sykes and Baur cousins in the United States. She and the priest both talked about how Nora had planned her service and was disappointed that she would be unable to attend. But she had chosen the readings and the music that was performed.

It was a simple service, with readings by one of her daughters and by her grandchildren, a sort of euology by her youngest daughter (which was so "Nora") and then prayers and blessing of the casket by the priests (one of whom was also a relative). I was sorry that I forgot to hit "print screen" when all of her grandchildren were stretched out across the altar, waiting their turn at the microphone.

incense.jpg  (65510 bytes)

And then the congregation was invited to walk to the nearby cemetery, where there would be a cremation ceremony. (That really surprised me. There was a time in the Catholic church when cremation was verboten).

Finally, the casket was picked up and taken out of the church.

casket.jpg  (64515 bytes)

As you can see, you don't see the entire church, but based on comments that the priest made, I gather that it was a pretty big crowd, including a woman Nora always called her "French daughter," who, I got the impression, came from France to pay her last respects.

I am so grateful that we could be a part of the goodbye to Nora, even if we couldn't be there in person. I'm just sorry we missed the party afterwards. I hope she was able to watch it with her husband, who died in 1968.

1 comment:

phonelady said...

Im sorry for your loss but am glad you were able to attend via the internet . God bless and take care .