Sermons

Saturday, October 1, 2016

In Memoriam

Today we said and sang the burial rite for our Director of Music at St. Stephen's, Peter Hopkins. Peter died very suddenly on Monday morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 57. We have all been reeling from the shock. I still can hardly believe it.

The service was glorious. All five of us clergy participated and we had 70 people singing together - the Virginia Girls Choir, the Virginia Boys Choir, our St. Stephen's choir and Sanctuary, our Compline choir. Peter was the director all of these choirs.

The hymns were "Christ is made the sure foundation" (Westminster Abbey); "The King of love my shepherd is" (St. Columba); and ALL the verses of "For all the saints" (Sine nomine), singing the seventh verse a cappella. There were people from other choirs among the congregation, and it is not often that I am in a procession out of the church walking between such beautiful voices singing in all the parts. My heart, and my eyes, were so full. 

The choirs sang as anthems O How Amiable (Vaughn Williams); Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One (Healey Willan); O sacrum convivium (Giovanni Croce); and ended with the Thomas Weelkes Nunc Dimities

Never have I heard such beauty at a funeral. Bittersweet. Peter, into paradise may the angels lead you. At your going may the martyrs receive you, and bring you into the holy city Jerusalem.

Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us. So, be swift to love, and make haste to be kind.








6 comments:

  1. May he rest in peace & rise in glory!! May your hearts be mended in God's good time.

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  2. I am so sorry to read this Penny. It must have been a huge shock to you all. It sounds as if he had a wonderful send off, which will be of some comfort to his nearest and dearest.
    May he have eternal rest and peace, and your sorrow be eased.

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  3. So sorry for your loss, Penny, which is also a huge loss to your church and to so many others groups and individuals. I'm glad you were able to come together to say farewell to Peter so beautifully and so fittingly. May God's love and peace comfort you all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So sorry for your loss, Penny, which is also a huge loss to your church and to so many others groups and individuals. I'm glad you were able to come together to say farewell to Peter so beautifully and so fittingly. May God's love and peace comfort you all.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a shock when someone dies so suddenly. It was a beautiful choice of hymns.
    Peace.

    ReplyDelete

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