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Friday, April 23, 2010

My First Funeral as the Presiding Clergy

My first funeral as the Presider at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery.

What an honor it was to be asked to preside at a committal service for the Father (Drew "Buddy" Mason) of my brother's wife. He was a wonderful man that had touched so many people's lives. 

He was a Korea War Veteran, A Loving Father and so many more things.

My brothers Dan and Terry attended the funeral.

As I have stated before, 
there is something so very special about the honor and dignity given to all Veterans at their funeral.

Processing in with The Flag, The Cremated Remains of "Buddy", and the Bugler.

Then TAPS was played.

Respect was given to the Military man from all and with salutes from all who served.

Many could not hold back the tears from the emotion that welled-up from within.

The flag was presented representing his relationship to our great country as a man of service.

With precision the flag was folded, 

and then the wife of the deceased was presented with the flag.

Once the Military Honors were completed the spiritual aspect of the service began.

The Sprinkling Rite with Holy Water over the remains.

Then an opportunity to explain that for Christians, 
Death is not the end, but only a necessary step to eternal life.

My Brother Dan assisted with the reading of Scripture.

The Gospel was proclaimed and the Homily followed.

For many, attending a funeral is their first exposure to Christianity, 
and for others, it might be the first time in a long time that the thought of self evaluation is contemplated.

There was time for a short Eulogy that connected with so many that were present.

Although the words were pleasant and flattering, they were very difficult to not only say, but to hear as well. The connection that so many had, and now with the feeling of loss, brought about enormous emotions. 

Yes, there was sadness and some grief....

But there was also some smiles and brightness when remembering the good times.....

After the conclusion of the service, there was a lot of sharing of love that was ever so needed.

In a matter of just a few minutes, He was committed into the ground and then closure for some could begin. Not closure of a life lived together, but a closure to this worldly life together awaiting the next, and time together for all eternity.

We were reminded of the many blessings that surround us, the joy of life, and the love of Family!

Until we meet again, it will be like "He is just gone fishing," it just isn't our turn yet!

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