Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ashes and apologies.

I have just come back from an ashes burial.  There were two caskets and both  people had been dead for some time. I had arranged to meet the two relatives in the church and arrived a little early.  They said there was only them, everyone else had died off so we went to the graveside early.  It was a precarious bit of cliff with no flat bits and we were sliding a bit so I got on with it. A quick look around revealed several more graves with the same family name so I could only agree......there were no other mourners.  They were already there!
We said our prayers, did the ashes to ashes bit and finished and as we walked away several other people arrived for the event.  Two of them I knew well and had done  the funeral of their mother...they asked if I'd used the Celtic prayer I had used for their mother  as it was very beautiful.   I had.  Here it is.

Into the freedom of wind and sunshine....we let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets....we let you go
Into the winds breath and the hands of the star maker....we let you go
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy.
Go safely. go dancing, go running home.        

This is the prayer I say at my daughters grave which is just a little way along the creek!

A lesson learned here....even when there seems to be no point in waiting its best to wait for the allotted time!  


  1. Jean,

    Thank you for the lovely writeup and the prayer.

    Went to a funeral yesterday of an old colleague who died at age 69. He was military, so huge turnout form his old comrades, and standards and a bugler.

    His Eulogies were well given and the service moved those who attended. Our Vicar used the prayer that he used at another funeral several years ago, which is also a beautiful hymn:

    God be in my head, and in my understanding;
    God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
    God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
    God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
    God be at mine end, and at my departing.

  2. I absolutely love the beautiful Celtic prayer you quoted Jean. What a perfect send-off.

  3. Earnie. I know that prayer as a beautful song that I used to sing to my grandma!

  4. It was used at the interment of Ashes of Lance Corporal Jimmy Johnson, an Argyle & Sutherland Highlander killed in Afghanistan in July 2008.

    I was visiting officer for the family and went through the whole process with them, repatriation, funeral, memorial service and finally interment of Ashes.

    The Whole experience brought Jesus Christ back into my life and the prayer was a marker on that initial journey.