Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In which we sing in celebration of the life of Granny T

We went to a funeral once at Bangor crematorium which scored highly on the contemplative side; much 'wissy' music and private thoughts but little audience participation - by which I mean no hymns or prayers. OK, that was the family's choice.  Communing with whatever I believe in I'm happy to keep a private affair but I've come on such an occasion to share and make sense of loss with my fellows and support the bereaved family. We sat, for three quarters of an hour, each in our own little bubble - and left feeling something was missing - we had been 'gathered together' but there had been little sense of gathered togetherness. No sense of a coming together to either mourn or celebrate a friend held in common.

At a Thanksgiving service held today for the elderly Granny T. our community gathered with her family and sang their hearts out. The Chapel was full and those in the packed village hall heard the service relayed. We rose to our feet and raised our voices to the roof. I was rather hoping for 'Abide with Me' but at a proper Welsh funeral there was, as there surely must be, 'Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah'.

I bet you could have heard us in the next village. I have never been part of that before - even when as a schoolgirl 600 of us would assemble to sing on a daily basis. Brilliant.  Singing it seems, even for those of us tone deaf souls, still hits the spot. Faith? Well, that can still remain a private affair but I'm sure the Minister's words were truths and a comfort to many. 

And then there was a proper funeral tea - mountains of sandwiches and cake and a bottomless teapot. Granny T - rest assured - it was a right good do.

10 comments:

Wipso said...

What a lovely way to send off an obviously popular member of the comunity. :-)
A x
my word verification ...dyinco :-)

rachel said...

That sounds more like it! After seeing so many people struggling to contain their feelings during rather buttoned-up funerals, and hearing a friend say after one last week that she'd tried not to show she was welling up in case she set anyone else off - !!!! - I've left directions that if anyone wants to sob loudly at mine, that would be fine by me (only if they want to, mind!).

And then there must certainly be nice things to eat and gallons of tea......

Rattling On said...

Hello, been reading for a while...
My family are Welsh and I love a good yodel. I always feel cheated if there are no hymns or, worse, that modern rubbish.
I used to work with a bloke who went to his Welsh uncle's funeral. He said it was all the male relatives singing so well that made him feel more emotional than the actual funeral!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

That's the way - raise the rafters. At my dad's funeral there were rival choir members in the congregation - it was deafening - makes you feel so much better!
(we have ONE lamb so far!!!!)

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Had to come back - the word verif is .......awaksabe

Pondside said...

A proper send-off - we should all be so lucky as to send off our family members that way. Much healthier than the whole 'no service by request'.

Twiglet said...

I am sure the singing helps to lift your spirits - (just realised there are two ways to look at that) either way singing does the trick for me!

Tattie Weasle said...

A right good send off woul dhave to have lots of singing to open up the lungs and lift the soul and afterwards plenty of food and drink and a rollicking good party. Been to too many funerals where there was too little joy in a life well lived, however short or long. Promised Hubbie I would wear bright pink at his send off and tell all his dirty jokes....hmmmm!!!

Grouse said...

Have you ever been to a carribean funeral? (Think 'Live and Let Die')
But one day I will blog about The Husband's send-off......still makes us laugh......

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

The perfect leaving "do" for a much loved neighbour.
I'd quite like a Welsh male voice choir to join the piper at mine . Just not yet .