psalm 23, of a sort

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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.

sophia isadora.jpg


Having a 14-yr-old daughter of my own, I've been following your posts about Sophia with interest and prayerful compassion. I've prayed not only for Sophia and her family (including you!), but also with extreme gratitude to our Lord for his protection on my own children, which I take for granted too much. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences....I'm sure it was difficult to write about at times.

Walter already said what I was thinking, right down to the fact that I have related to this even more because of my 14 & 16 year old daughters. When you talked of not crying, it was Sophia's photo, beautiful and full of life, that sparked them for me. thanks so much for sharing all this with us.

Hi Alicia,
I was searching google for thoughts on Sophia and I found your journal. I hope you don't mind that I read it. I have been so sad ever since I heard about Sophia. I was sorry that I couldn't make it to the service on Thursday. I really tried to find a way to make it but I guess I just wasn't meant to be there. You know what is really interesting. Reading your journal and you talking about your conversation with B, mentioning that you and he are the only siblings that go to church. I just went to church on Sunday for the first time in sooooo many years. I went alone and I didn't know anyone else there. It is a small Episcopal church here in Big Bear. Eventhough I haven't gone in forever, I still remember how it works! It was really nice. I could relate a little to your story of tears during that song. On Sunday for me, there was the portion of the service that you pray for everyone. I was so moved during that time, thinking of Sophia and our whole family that I was tearing up quite a bit. Then I had to greet the people around me, I could see that they were wondering what I was crying about, a stranger in this church for the first time. They were kind of course. I think I may go back again soon. Thanks for listening to my ramblings. I love you.
your baby sister Victoria

St. Columba's Episcopal church, right? Did you notice that the tune for that hymn was St. Columba? (Traditionally, hymns are written in meter, and there are often many different choices as to what tune goes with what words. Click on the links for Oremus Hymnal and Psalms in meter in my static links column for more examples). That is an example of what John and I call 'god-incidences' rather than 'co-incidence'.
This blog is public, you are more than welcome to read it and comment as you choose. But do be aware that I try not to put real names up for most people unless I have their permission. My site meter tells me that between 80 to 100 visits a day come here, so I try to protect the privacy of others.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on September 12, 2004 8:11 PM.

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