Today we celebrated a Requiem Mass for a dear friend and tireless lifetime servant in our church. Verger, Sacristan, PCC member, Deanery Synod member—you name it, he'd done it in his eighty-one years. We’ll miss him terribly.
Somehow it was appropriate that he went home to his Lord during Lent. Godfrey was the most passionately sacramental of Christians, and he had a deep understanding of church seasons and days. Today’s Mass was just as he had wanted it to be, and we were all there to see him off. The church was packed, and somehow there was as much joy as there were tears.
It struck me last night, when we received Godfrey’s coffin into the church, that he was witnessing in utter truth to his Lord's words, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11.25-26) We were listening to the words, as we did in the Gospel reading this morning; Godfrey is there. He knows. He is living in the truth of those words.
We are living out our lives in Lent; for Godfrey, it is now, and forever, Easter Day...