A Scottish Funeral

A Scottish Funeral

 

Hillhead Baptist Church

In kirk or chapel, crematorium or even by the graveside
Somber faced kin and friends, of the deceased assemble
The nearest and dearest still in deep shock from their loss
Others less close prompted to recall their own mortality

In these moments of quietness the outside world excluded
Time is forced to pause – its busyness suspended
And as we listen to the tribute to our loved one
Our minds are chastened as we reflect on life’s fragility

Of course when we are young we think our vitality impregnable
Unless the deceased be young and now a tragic victim
Of some untimely illness or overwhelming force majeure
The older, more conditioned to the prospect of approaching death

So we gather in respectful homage round the coffin
Listen to the biography which often reveals surprising facts
We wonder why we hadn’t taken more time or made more effort
To get closer to such a person, as a friend, a colleague or loved one

Our emotions charged as we sing an ancient psalm
And hold in prayer those for whom this loss is most deeply felt
For some the familiar words of scripture might offer consolation
Even the prospect of re-union on some far off shore

And then at the words of final committal
The curtains closed or coffin lowered
The body shrouded in unknowing
And we return to face the world
Which now is never quite the same

Ken Fisher

2 thoughts on “A Scottish Funeral

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