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can I ask you to look at this reading (for a funeral) and tell me what you think?

(43 Posts)
fuckwittery Sun 04-Nov-12 00:16:15

It will be read in Latin, but the translation will be printed in the funeral sheet.
Can you just tell me your first reactions please?

Have pity on me, have pity on me,
O ye my friends;
For the hand of God hath touched me.
Alas, alas, alas, my God,
How long wilt thou not depart from me
nor let me alone till I swallow down
my spittle?
Alas, alas, alas, my God,
wherefore hidest thou thy face,
and holdest me for thine enemy?
Alas, alas, alas, my God,
Why hast thou set me as a mark
against thee,
so that I am a burden unto myself?
Have pity on me, have pity on me, O ye my friends.
Ah, ah me! Too harsh the retribution
that torments me;
Ah, too searing the flames that
consume me.
When will you give me relief?
When will you cool my fever?
You have changed, O Lord, and become
cruel to me.
Have pity on me, have pity on me,
O ye my friends;
For the hand of God hath touched me.

(Extract from "Messe pour les Trepasses" Mass for the Souls of the departed by Marc Antoine Charpentier)

Theas18 Tue 06-Nov-12 09:17:07

Gosh that's a toughie and your mum must have been in a dark place when she chose it.

How about Adding a touch of hope as a full requiem mass would do with an in paradisum or similar?

n paradisum deducant te angeli,
in tuo adventu
suscipiant te martyres,
et perducant te
in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
aeternam habeas requiem.


May the angels lead you into paradise,
may the martyrs receive you
in your coming,
and may they guide you
into the holy city, Jerusalem.
May the chorus of angels receive you
and with Lazarus once poor
may you have eternal rest.

worldgonecrazy Tue 06-Nov-12 09:12:20

As a funeral "celebrant" (never feels like the right word but you know what I mean) I agree with those posters who are saying to keep it in but to contextualise it. I think it is a way of showing your mother's journey through life, and the peace that she made with life is all the greater because of the depth of despair that she was in. She found a way out of this despair and that is something worthy of marking and celebrating at her funeral.

I'm not sure if the funeral is at a crematorium or a church. If it's a crematorium unfortunately you only get 15 minutes unless you make a double-booking or book the last slot of the day. Fifteen minutes is never long enough to say what needs to be said. I hope you find a way to comply with your mums wishes and gain comfort and succour for yourself, your family and your mum's friends.

Please PM me if you want any more help or advice.

So sorry for your loss.

It is worth telling the vicar who is taking the funeral about the readings and how you feel about them. She will understand. There are ways of being honest about the dark times in the homily that honour the reality of pain but recognise that it wasn't the whole of a life. Clergy often get a santised version of a life from the relative organising the funeral which is understandable in the shock of recent bereavement, but it doesn't help everyone else at the funeral who might wonder if they went to the right one as they don't recognise the person they miss from the talk that is given.

Hope you can get some clarity on this soon.

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 01:34:49

I think the second link is the full version of it, but I'm not sure. Sorry, I was trying to be helpful and failed miserably, I blame this modern technology

Personally I wouldn't print the translation but probably would get the vicar to say the general gist of it. I think if its printed people will dwell on it more.

fuckwittery Sun 04-Nov-12 01:28:14

thanks Missy, I had downloaded a few tracks from the same album you linked to (first link) already, and some of them seem to be extracts from the text I have but not follow the whole thing from start to end, haven't been able to piece together the whole thing yet. I will ask my uncle as he said they performed the music at a memorial for one of their family members, and he thought my mum had found the text moving and since chose it for her own funeral. definitely leaning towards not printing the translation, but I might ask the vicar to mention it in her sermon.

BitBewildered Sun 04-Nov-12 01:27:31

I agree with Busters. The second set of readings are very sad given the circumstances they were chosen in, and as another poster (sorry - on my phone and can't look back) said, she clearly decided to stay with you. You said earlier that she seemed to have found some peace. Maybe that would be a more appropriate way to remember her?

My DH's DGM passed away recently, and although it was expected, she had never got round to telling anyone her wishes. It was very hard for FIL.

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 01:22:18

In fact this is it (I think)

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Sun 04-Nov-12 01:21:00

Yes, a funeral is for the bereaved. If you feel you want to take on board your mum's wishes then maybe have the (bloody awful) first one played as a piece of music, in Latin, but without the translation, and then pick something more comforting to you and close family members.
Sorry for your loss.

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 01:18:05

hope this helps with the music xx

BustersOfDoom Sun 04-Nov-12 01:11:13

Oh my love, I think that knowing what you know now you have to put those requested readings aside. Things have moved on quite clearly. You are not arranging a funeral for someone who passed when those thoughts were appropriate or relevant any more. Just because she didn't update her requests for readings, prayers, hymns does not mean that you have to go along with what was requested years ago.

I think that you should plan the funeral service according to your wishes and any readings, prayers or hymns should relate to how you feel about her. Most of us don't have any notes about what our parents want. We didn't for my DF so the funeral was about how we felt about him, how much we loved and missed him, which was comforting and desperately sad. A funeral should be about loving and honouring a loved one not about telling everyone what a desperately bad place they were in ten years ago.

RyleDup Sun 04-Nov-12 01:07:39

It sounds as though her time was hard. And it got harder. But she chose to stay because she wanted to. Because of you. If she hadn't, she would have left a long time ago.
Be a little kinder to yourself. It sounds to me as though your mum really loved you. And she chose in the end to stay because of that. Because she wanted to, despite everything.

fuckwittery Sun 04-Nov-12 01:06:51

thank you all. FairP and Missy you are right, I shouldn't use those 2 readings as I can't stop reading the message behind them to me. The point you make about the purpose of the funeral being comfort to us is very important too. I will play the music, and perhaps ask the vicar to speak about the words, and I will have to make a decision about printing the translation, this thread has confirmed that everyone's first thoughts on reading it will be shock!
Can't actually find the music at present, but hopefully I will be able to.

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 01:03:58

Actually, thinking about it, will anyone understand the latin version of it, if not it will just be a nice song played at the funeral. As long as you are ok with it OP.

FairPhyllis Sun 04-Nov-12 01:01:43

Cross-posted. I'm so sorry this is so difficult OP. I would say don't use the last two readings in that case.

The vicar ought to be able to talk about Job sensibly in a way that helps everyone there, if s/he is going to do a sermon. I would ask them about it.

I think it's a good thing to honour people's wishes, but funerals are meant to provide comfort and hope to the mourners too.

fuckwittery Sun 04-Nov-12 01:00:44

It could be sung rather than spoken which would soften it a bit

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 01:00:18

No when you give the back story of why she chose them I think they would make an awful day more upsetting for you.

Have you got any particular reading you would like?

SolosBigBangers Sun 04-Nov-12 00:58:50

That's what I was going to say BB.
I would be inclined to follow your Mum's wishes, but could you have a second or even a third happier reading fw?

When my Dad died, I wrote and read about some wonderful (to me) memories of him. It made good reading/listening and gave other people a window into Dads life as there were many ex colleagues and even carer's who had not had the pleasure of seeing him as a real family man and great Dad.

FairPhyllis Sun 04-Nov-12 00:56:14

Is there going to be a homily which could contextualise the reading and talk a little more about the meaning of Job in relation to your mum's life? Because a funeral is also a pastoral service for family and friends and I think that for people who don't know anything about the book of Job this will be really difficult to understand and possibly quite upsetting.

Or could you juxtapose it with another reading?

fuckwittery Sun 04-Nov-12 00:52:48

The last 2 readings upset me, as she chose them when I was 16 and she was contemplating suicide before it was too late (i.e. before she was physically incapable). She didn't want to leave me, and these were a message to me had she left me an orphan back then. However, she decided to keep going, on a path where there was no way back. My feelings now she has died at the end of that road are very different, I am relieved for her, and for me, and I want to remember her as she was before she was ill. I am not sure the latter readings are the most appropriate, I am not sad she has died now as everyone's overwhelming feeling is that she is released from her suffering. The news was described as happy news by my great aunt and that is true.
I can see that they can have a different interpretation, but I can't stop thinking that they are directed to the 16 year old me and we are in a different place now.

BustersOfDoom Sun 04-Nov-12 00:52:25

Sorry for your loss OP. I would talk to the vicar about the best way forward. I can understand that you would want to honour her wishes and I think that the vicar will be the best person to talk to about how to do that. I am sure that this won't be a new situation for them to deal with.

BitBewildered Sun 04-Nov-12 00:47:46

sad Sorry OP, for your loss. The reading makes perfect sense in the context you describe and if you can explain in a eulogy then the congregation will understand, I'm sure.

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 00:47:19

I prefer the other readings tbh. What are your thoughts on them?

fuckwittery Sun 04-Nov-12 00:42:59

I have a note of more recent plans, she says NOT a celebration of life but a quiet reflective sermon with thanks to those who supported her through her long illness. That is from 2 years ago. However she didn't specify readings, just suggested hymns. I don't think this is a very quiet reflective piece so I don't know.

She has other readings as well, but again chosen in 1997.

When I am laid in earth,
May my wrongs create no trouble in thy breast.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
(Dido's Lament, from 'Dido & Aeneas', an opera by Purcell)

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me, With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain:
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember
And haply may forget.

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

EduCated Sun 04-Nov-12 00:40:42

Oh, heck. What a position to be in. Discussing it with the vicar sounds like a good plan. On the one hand, it's what she wanted, but on the other it does sound as though it was a decision made at a very particular point in time, the circumstances around which have now shifted slightly.

It must be difficult trying to make decisions like this when you've just lost your mum sad

RyleDup Sun 04-Nov-12 00:39:41

I'm sorry by the way.

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