I think I mentioned that one of the two hymns at Sophia's funeral was The King of love my shepherd is, sung to the tune St. Columba. It is #345 in the Anglican hymnal. At the time the pastor announced it, he announced #45 (apparantly his cheat sheet had a typo) and some very puzzled people were searching through the Christmas carols (#45 is Joseph dearest, Joseph mine), but since I knew the hymn from the tune, I was able to find it in the index of first lines and let those around me know as well. It is not a hymn I remember singing as a child, but for some reason the local parishes have been singing it recently.
Well, today at Mass I was pleased to hear that Father used the long gospel reading, though a little concerned at his interpretation that it called us to an inclusive and accepting attitude but was reassured when he did point out the need for repentance. Then at communion, I was stunned when the hymn sung (a cappella by a duo with heavenly voices) was The King of Love my Shepherd Is - with the traditional language and to the tune of St. Columba. I was literally in tears. I am sure that the communion ministers were wondering why I was tear-streaked and all choked up.
I don't cry easily. Ask my husband. I can deal with things mostly without turning on the fountain. I have to be able to keep it together when everyone else is falling apart. I went from a crybaby childhood to an almost stoic appearing adulthood - I think they are both problematic ways to deal with emotions but it isn't something over which I have any control. But if anything can pull out those dormant tears, it would be music. And this music did.
I spent some time at the funeral talking with my next down brother (2 years younger than me). We talked about funeral plans - he and I are the two practicing Christians of our generation - he's a non-denominational evangelical, and I'm the only Roman Catholic in the family. We both agreed that we preferred burial to cremation. His comment was something to the effect that he didn't want it to be any harder than needed for God to pull him together at the resurrection of the dead - "I know that God is God but burial just seems more Christian to me". And we talked a bit about how the hope of the resurrection helps us to make a bit more sense of the suffering in this world.
In the extended entry, I have posted the picture of Sophia that was given out at the funeral.