If you've read my blog for a while, you probably know that I have a deep fascination for funeral rites. I guess it's the inner cultural-anthropologist in me that finds the experience and understanding of different funeral practices and customs to be so interesting. I have been to many funerals in my lifetime and I always learn something; either about myself or others in mourning. This evening, it was a privledge to experience a Greek Orthodox funeral vigil known as a Trisagion Service. Trisagion means "thrice holy" and it is an ancient prayer in Christianity. Some of the prayers and hymns were sung in Greek and some in English, but it was all beautiful. And even though I had never attended a Trisagion service before, the words were not new. Prayers for mercy, for forgiveness and for peace were all things I had heard before. Once again, I was struck not by differences, but by commonalities. Grief and mourning are great equalizers and we are all the same in our suffering.
Tonight's funeral was for a wonderful man who loved much and that love was reflected in the friends and family that gathered to mourn him. There is a grace-filled gratitude whenever I witness such love and affection.