Sister Irene's Funeral
22nd June 2021
Sister Diana's Homily
(Readings : Revelation 21 v 1-6; John 14 v 1-6)
Irene had chosen the hymns and the Bible readings for her funeral service long ago – probably never expecting to live to the grand old age of almost 93. Her choices focus on Heaven – and she was very heavenly-minded. As we’ve already heard she was quite gregarious and very well travelled – going places was one of the joys of her long life (until fairly recently) and we gather now to send her on her last journey
I’m sure Irene was ready to be with her Lord. Over the last few weeks and months of her life she had grown increasingly weary – the spark had gone but just occasionally the twinkle was still there. The reading from St John’s gospel gives us a picture of Jesus’ disciples who were sad and anxious because he had told them He would be leaving them to return to his Father
in Heaven - they were upset, panic-stricken, wondering how they would cope without him to lead and guide them. He simply encouraged them to believe in God and believe in Him as he was going ahead to prepare a place for them in heaven. ‘In my Father’s house there are many mansions/ rooms/ dwelling places’ (depending on which translation of the Bible you are reading.) The word can also be translated as ‘resting places or stopping places’ on the journey. Irene knew where she wanted to go and Jesus promises that he is there to prepare our place, a place in the eternal worship of God. I know Irene will be delighted to get there.
We can rejoice that Irene is now reaching the nearer presence of God – where her own parents (John and Mary Jane)and much loved cousins (David, Stella, Donald and Doris) and her many friends will be waiting to greet her - and where she can rejoice and be glad for ever.
The reading from the book of Revelation speaks of God establishing the perfect community in which he lives among his people. The heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, is a place of perfect light, harmony, healing and peace and it comes down from God in all its richness and magnificence, radiant with His glory. It’s a far cry from the world in which we sadly find ourselves today. It’s a faithful city – renewed and restored - where there is no more pain or suffering – God promises that He will be our God and we will be his children. This is his gift to us. So we have John’s vision of the new creation – Heaven. It is a picture of the people of God now ready to be re-united with Christ. A voice speaks – God’s dwelling is now with his people – and this is possible because he sent his Son Jesus to take our humanity, to live on earth as we do, to die on the cross and to rise again – so that one day we can share his life in Heaven.
So we rejoice that, for our dear Irene, that day has now come – no more pain or sorrow – God is ready to embrace her in his own life of love. I finish with some words from St Augustine - one day we too shall rest and we shall see, we shall see and we shall love, we shall love and we shall praise – and behold what shall be in the end and will not end. AMEN.
After many delays, Covid lockdowns and various hitches, the Community of the Holy Name has finally moved to its new home in Hessle.
It's been a long and at times an arduous journey and we are all very tired, but we are here at last and hope that our time here will be as wonderful as the 30 years in Derby were. Monica and Julie who have been here over a year supervising the building works, have broken the ground by making many friends around us so we have arrived to a lovely welcome from our neighbours.
Now we plan to spend some time settling in, finding places for everything and discovering and exploring our new environment. With the Humber Bridge just down the road and the estuary only 10 minutes on foot, we are in a very different looking place from Derby!
As we say Daily Office in a new place, we are already aware of the presence of God among us. One of the last acts of the last sisters to leave Derby was to hold a short service in the chapel and to take the Sacrament. The Reserved Sacrament was then brought to the new house and placed in the chapel here, continuing God's presence in our worship space. May God bless us and be with us as we journey together.
As you may have noticed if you have visited our website before, it has a new look! Our old site was beginning to look tired and needed to be refreshed so to coincide with our move here is our new website! We hope you enjoy it and find what you are looking for. If not please contact us and let us know.