Here we offer, in video, the full Memorial Service held in Trinity United Church in Mahone Bay, for those who could not be there or wish to re-experience it.
The Rev. Lee Simpson officiated at June’s express request.
The video starts with the piano prelude: Heather Kristenson playing “Somewhere My Love” (the theme from June’s favourite movie in her middle years, Doctor Zhivago) and the gentle harp prelude by Charles’ daughter-in-law, Valerie Bellamy, while the congregation settles in and the main actors arrange the scene a bit at the last minute.
The service starts at about 11 minutes 45 seconds with Charles’ welcome. If you wish to skip the preludes, you can jump ahead. But if you want to hear the beautiful harp music again, see the minister walk by with a box of tissues, and discern voices of family in the front rows as they meet, greet and discuss the scene, you might like to watch and listen.
The video ends with a piano snippet of Jerusalem (William Blake’s poem set to music by Hubert Parry, which has become the unofficial national anthem of England and offers a profound vision of building a better world really, not just a better England), which we sang for June in the hospital two days before she died. At that stage, she could hardly respond to anything physically, but she raised her arms high at the line “Bring me my chariot of fire.”
Thanks to June’s grandson Malcolm Sepulchre for taking care of the camera during the service.
Here is the program, if you’d like to follow along. Links open in a new window or tab so as not to interrupt the video:
The words to the hymns that are not in the insert are reproduced below the video, for your convenience.
WE SHALL GO OUT WITH HOPE OF RESURRECTION
(Tune: Danny Boy, Londonderry Air)
We shall go out with hope of resurrection;
we shall go out, from strength to strength go on;
we shall go out and tell our stories boldly;
tales of a love that will not let us go.
We’ll sing our songs of wrongs that can be righted;
we’ll dream our dream of hurts that can be healed;
we’ll weave a cloth of all the world united
within the vision of new life who sets us free.
We’ll give a voice to those who have not spoken;
we’ll find the words for those whose lips are sealed;
we’ll make the tunes for those who sing no longer,
expressive love alive in every heart.
We’ll share our joy with those who are still weeping,
raise hymns of strength for hearts that break in grief,
we’ll leap and dance the resurrection story
including all in circles of our love.
GOD BE IN MY HEAD
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.