Yesterday I celebrated Mass at the Hospital Chapel and blessed the new icon of St. Thomas of Canterbury which had been given as a gift by Pamela and Tom. When I arrived home I found the Postman had left the new chasubles for the Hospital Chapel which have been given by the Trustees. I have to say they are very beautiful. It was then of to chair the Governors meeting at New Rush Hall.
Today I celebrated a Solemn Requiem Mass for a former parishioner Krist who was a member of the Greek Orthodox Church but who had attended St. Francis with his family for many years. I was privileged to be able to give Krist Viaticum just before he died and he and his family had asked that I take his funeral together with a Greek Orthodox priest.Following the blessing of the coffin with incense and sprinkling with Holy Water the Orthodox Priest Father Andreas led us in prayer (some in Greek and some in English) We then went to the grave where Father Andreas officiated inviting me to say a prayer for Krist and to assist during the internment. I was interested in the ceremonies which took place including the pouring of olive oil into the grave together with wheat and water and then the breaking of the containers. The ceremony ended with a glass of wine, bread, halloumi and olives. We then returned to St. Francis Church Hall for a buffet.
It was really good to be able to share this service with Father Andreas who commented that the Mass I celebrated was very similar to the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. It made me yearn for the day when Christians can be one, as Our Lord prayed just before he died