Monday, October 05, 2009

Requiem for Grant Roberts

May He support us all the day long of this troubled life till the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and this busy world is hushed and the fever of life over and our work is done: then in your mercy give us a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at last.
- Cardinal Newman

It was a moving occasion this morning to be present for the Requiem Mass and Absolutions of Grant Victor Roberts. He led a very quiet life, and indeed did not want a eulogy at all; but for me it was peppered with his presence in the sanctuary of the Holy Liturgy. He knew the roles of the servers so well; MC, thurifer, acolyte, torch-bearer... that he was comfortable doing any of them with humility and honour. It was fitting that his Requiem today was endowed with the beautiful Rites of his Catholic Faith. Unusually, taking place just before the 40 hours devotion, the sanctuary was arrayed with a multitude of candles.

Fr Paul Chavasse was celebrant, leading the coffin into church with the recitation of the Subveníte. A short office was then said, after which the Mass was begun. The cantors chanted sombre psalm tones. There were a great many priests in choir, about eight, all holding unbleached candles. Other Oratory Fathers joined the line up around his coffin for the absolutions (above). The hymn 'Praise to the Holiest' was sung, as well as 'Just as I am' which included the poignant words:
"Just as I am, of that free love,
The breadth, length, depth and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come"

May the Angels receive him in paradise,
And Our Lady of Walsingham pray for him.
Requiescat in pace.

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