Requiem Eucharist

In Memory of Olive and David Walker. 

By some quirk of fate I spotted a post about a Requiem Mass to be held at Tewkesbury Abbey on the 3rd of November. I had been wanting to attend a service at the Abbey for quite some time and never really managed to do so until tonight. It is possible that I was supposed to do this as part of the grieving process and that was why I saw the post. At any rate I was there at 4.35pm to participate in the service. 

The Abbey is a different place at night, it is well lit and cloudy with incense smoke but still as beautiful as ever. The image was taken long before everybody had arrived though, it is not that the Abbey was empty, it is just that it has a lot of space. 

I love the sound of those large organs and the soaring voices of the choir. The music on this evening was by Gabriel Faure who completed it in 1887 and is sometimes known as “A Requiem Without a Last Judgement”.  

I was raised an Anglican and somewhere in the dusty mists of my mind is the Communion Service; I had last taken Communion in 1993, and even then I somehow knew most of it by heart. I suspect the service is one of those familiar things that lives in you but which comes forward when the organ bursts into life. 

I was not only remembering my mother at this time, but also my father who passed away on 7 November 1981. They have finally been re-united after so many long years and I am glad that we were at least able to place her ashes where his are interred. 

Once the prayers had been read we were able to take communion at the Altar rail. I have been in so many of these cathedrals and abbeys that the altar rail does not hold that sense of awe as it did when I was confirmed way back in 1974 or 1975? (I must look it up). The ceremony in these churches follows and age old ritual and coming from South Africa I could easily follow it as it was literally the same service. Once Communion was taken the opportunity was given for members of the congregation to light a candle in memory of those who had passed on. I had lit one before the service started but had also lit one on the 6th of last month. 

And then we were finished and the procession filed out and so did the congregation. I felt better having done this, and I would like to attend another service at the Abbey when I can, I have not found religion, its just that I am still working through closure, its just part of the process. 

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Updated: 03/11/2019 — 21:28
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