Funeral Service for David Holmes in St Ives

St Ives, CornwallImage of St Ives Bay, Cornwall  via Wikipedia

Today at St Ives, Cornwall I attended the funeral of David Holmes, who died suddenly a few weeks ago and I did the first reading from the book of Wisdom.

Many people came, (about 150) including a lot of artists to pay tribute to David who was an artist too.
It has been a long time waiting for the service but the family wanted to wait for Fr. Philip Dyson, our Parish  Priest to return after a short post Easter break to conduct the funeral service.
My partner Colin is a funeral director and he and his wonderful team made everyone feel welcome  and it was lovely to be part of the final farewell to David.

It was a beautiful service held in our Catholic church of St Ia and the sun shone.  It has been a difficult time for his family but they were heartened to see so many people come to say farewell and St Ives is always a beautiful place when the sun shines. Cornish cream teas were very much appreciated by the visitors at the reception afterwards!!

Today as I sat and watched a steady line of people go up for Holy Communion it was not difficult to recognise that the first Easter, the real Easter, was not just one event in time that occurred long ago. Christ's resurrection spans the ages and has eternal consequences. It applies to you and me today just as much as it did to Christ's followers on Easter morning. It also applies to the future. Our hope, no matter where we may be today, is in the transforming truth of Easter.

I also realise that true faith in God does not rely on our emotions. If we cried with David's family today I know that Christ has  died and risen  for us so that He could more closely walk with us through  hard times. He knows, more than anyone, the heaviness of the cross.
As awe-struck as Christ's disciples felt after his resurrection, they still didn't know what it fully meant… for humanity or for their personal lives.

While the resurrection brought their beloved Rabbi back to them. it simultaneously healed some wounds while opening a new can of questions, insecurities, fears, and even pain - at least temporarily.

Ultimately, all Good Fridays will lead to joyful Easter mornings if we stay close to Christ.

Whether we are in a season of hardship, rejoicing, or a mix of both, the key is to keep walking in faith one step at a time. Only the risen Christ can guide us through the crooked path of life. And when our final Easter morning arrives, we'll finally see with clarity that the journey was worth it.
 Today I reflect on the "little resurrections" in our lives- the times God answers our prayer in a very tangible way, and the blessings He gives us in all our lives.
All these serve as reminders of the great work God will continue to do in our lives if we stay with Him.
May  God Bless you  and your family David, and may eternal light shine upon you and may you rest in peace, Amen.
Reading from The Book of Wisdom Chapter 3 Verses 1-6 and 9.
But the souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us , like annihilation;
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it,
their hope was rich in immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.
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claire said...

What a beautiful post, Phil.

I very much like your thoughts on faith not relying on emotions and on all our 'little resurrections'.

Blessings to you and David's family and friends.

Philomena Ewing said...

Thanks Claire,
What a day it has been. We all feel emotionally wrung out here.The service was beautiful and there were many non Christians who attended the service who found it very moving too so that was wonderful. After so much bad press the Catholic Church has been getting it was great to see that the Holy Spirit can still work through us all. The requiem Mass is a truly beautiful one and it reminded me of a "seamless garment" being wrapped around us all, uniting us albeit briefly as one community.

Fran said...

Thank you for sharing this personal post Philomena. My prayers for you all.

I love that Wisdom reading; I used to do a lot of funeral ministry and now working in the parish office, I pull together the funeral readings. That one always gets to my heart.