death and james joyce

I messed up the time for the funeral yesterday. I arrived at about 9:25 AM thinking it was to begin at 10 AM. No one about. I checked the bulletin, but no time was given on the program. I had looked earlier at my google calendar and noticed that while I had it on my calendar at 10 AM, the church did not have it on it’s calendar.

I phoned Eileen and left a message that I would be later than I thought and settled down and practiced until my boss arrived. She confirmed that the funeral began at 11. She said the family had been funny about publicizing the service and that’s why it wasn’t on the church’s calendar. I told her I didn’t think that “private” worship services were allowed in the Episcopal church. She confirmed this pointing out that she had announced it Sunday. But also said there were the usual extenuating circumstances of a family in grief acting a bit off balance.

That made sense to me.

It was an odd funeral. The family had requested there be no homily or Eucharist. There was some serious grief in the air. I was surprised at how strongly they sang “Amazing Grace.” Made me think more of a communal celebration might have been healing for them. But what do I know?

I was glad I had laid out several organ pieces in advance. I used pieces based on hymns like “What a friend we have in Jesus” and the hymn tune Beech Spring which has a strong comforting feeling (I think).

The rest of the day I was exhausted much like a Sunday. I think it’s draining for me to be in a room with so many grieving praying people. Not surprising.

I seem to be renewing my interest in James Joyce. This morning I spent some time with Finnegan’s Wake online. Very helpful to have the footnotes at this web site. I also read the first few pages of Ulysses on a free ebook.

Joyce’s words are very familiar to me. I have read these portions of his work many times.  It is comforting to reread them.


Health Care Act Questions and Answers –

I continue to learn about this.


How the Army Won Egypt’s Election –

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”


Murdoch Praises News Corporation’s Newspapers –

Interesting move. Murdoch is definitely moving toward digital news.


Tangled Passages –

Online confessions of NYT editor Patrick LaForge:

No one sets out to write an opening sentence so long that it frustrates and irritates readers. But that’s what we sometimes do.


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