Thursday, 1 December 2011

Requiescat in Pace, Jeremy Winston, Priest

The Blorrenge from the River Usk.

So to the final resting place earlier today for the burial of Fr. Jeremy Winston, my friend and mentor of nearly thirty years. A day of mourning, of loss, of wonder, praise and thanksgiving, of peace and rest, a day of hope and light. Firstly arriving at St. Mary's Abergavenny for the private last hours and family burial.  His coffin on high tressels draped in the white and purple Pall of the Society of the Holy Cross his spiritual brotherhood and home of so many years. In that unofficial Cathedral of orthodoxy that was the spiritual and incarnational embodiment of a vision of Christ's kingdom here on earth which Jeremy made manifest by his diligence, his strong faith and through his love of the Lord Jesus Christ present in the never questioned truths of that branch of the Catholic faith expressed in traditional Anglicanism, for which he fought and never wavered even to the last. Far away from the establishment funeral of yesterday, so strange and empty as it seemed of the essence of Jeremy there in the actual Cathedral in Newport, which was denied his dynamism so badly needed, but for a small number of weeks, and of his ministry as Dean only since September 10th. Today in St. Mary's, much silent prayer and then prayers read from the Office of the Dead from the Divine Office, the Pall was now replaced with pure white roses and carried out shoulder high to the waiting herse for the short drive to the cemetery  So with a handful of his family and close friends together with his colleagues, Fr Bernard Sixtus, Fr Malcolm Lane and Dom Thomas Regan OSB from Belmont Abbey we walked to the hilltop cemetery, benevolently watched over by God and the twin heights of Monmouthshire's Blorrenge Mountain in the dry bright December sky. Full of hope and comfort, the words of the burial service and two readings from Holy Scripture we four of God's Ministers doing our best to give our dear friend and brother Priest the best farewell we could, knowing that the smile of knowing peace would not be far from Jeremy's essential spirit which was committed unto God's eternal care. There will be thousands of people who have been brought to know the Lord Jesus Christ through Jeremy, a holy Priest of God. It will be up to us all who remain to continue that dynamic, joyful and truthful ministry that Jeremy began and who gives us to share in both here and now and in the years ahead. May we not fail, but stand together strengthened by the love which the Lord Jesus has for us and to Whom many have been led by His good and faithful servant Jeremy.
Support us, O Lord, all the day long of this troublous life,until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Christ our Lord. Amen.   (Blessed John Henry Newman)

No comments:

Post a Comment