I have been greeted by long absent friends
and loved the starting pleasure in their eyes;
have known the silence as the singer ends,
holding the listeners dumb with ecstacies;
have filled my nostrils from the opening rose,
have shouted verse, exulting, down the wind,
have gazed at moonlit water as it flows,
and morning mountains with the sun behind;
have felt the blessed ease that follows pain,
and heard great tides of music as they sweep;
have found lost infant memories again,
seen heaven-visiting children fast asleep.
I summon up these joys, each one apart –
and I have held my love against my heart.
Isaiah 25:6-9 – Read by Freya Fraser
The Lord will prepare a banquet for every nation
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet
of rich food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all
peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, He will destroy Death for
ever. The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek; He will take
away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for
salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped. We exult and we
rejoice that he has saved us.
Tell Out My Soul
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of his word;
In God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
His mercy sure, from age to age the same;
His holy name, the Lord, the mighty One.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by;
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
The hungry fed, the humble lifted high.
Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
To children's children and forever more!
John 14:1-6 Read by Alastair Fraser
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my
Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going
now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a
place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be
too. You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know
Jesus said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the
Father except through me.’
Read by Minnie Fraser
When thinking about what to say for this, my siblings and I realised how
truly blessed we have been! I know a lot of people must think their Mums are
the best in the world, but genuinely, Mum (Ruth) was absolutely wonderful
and our family are so, so lucky to have had her in our lives. The
challenge now is to put this across in just a few minutes, but I will do my
Mum had unwavering faith in God who was such a great influence in her life,
but she didn’t appear to have to work hard at being a good Catholic – it was
innate, God made her that way! I tried to remember whether she had
ever done anything I thought was bad or had upset me and I genuinely
couldn’t think of anything! Maybe she really was an angel or a saint!!!
Mum was kindness personified, everyone was equal in her eyes. When we
were children in London Colney, a tramp called Alan George Ealing used to
call on us. Mum would give him a huge cup of tea and something to eat and a
packet of sandwiches wrapped in foil to take with him. But best of
all, she would listen patiently while he talked and talked! In my
teenage years when we lived at Bampton, we almost took it for granted that
if we appeared unannounced with a friend or two, that space would be made at
the dinner table and the food would stretch to feed the extra mouths.
Space was even made in our home for one of my friends – Chris – when he was
evicted from his lodgings.
She was such a loving wife and mother! As a parent it is difficult
getting the balance right between protecting your children and allowing them
to make their own mistakes and learn from them. Mum did a brilliant
job and as Kate says, she carried on with that even into adulthood giving us
sage advice on how to deal with adult relationships which really
helped. She was also an amazing Grandmother, helping to care for her
grand-children whenever she was able. Us Frasers benefitted
immeasurably from this – she worked so hard, tirelessly and selflessly –
what on earth would we have done without her?
Mum was the grounded and practical core of our sometimes very chaotic
family! I love Kate’s way of explaining this – remember the Mickey
Mouse film where Goofy is sleepwalking having banged his head and Mickey
desperately finds things to put under his feet to stop him falling?
Well, that was Mum – except she managed to do it calmly and efficiently,
keeping the earth beneath our errant feet!
One of the best things she ever did was undoubtedly marrying Dad! They
had such a happy, harmonious marriage! In my whole life, I only
remember one argument between Mum and Dad. Dad had done some DIY in
the drawing room and when he finished, Mum cleaned away all the resulting
dust. Afterwards, Dad noticed some flaw in his work, took the
sandpaper to it, Mum took exception to the new mess and there was some
shouting. Ruddle, our sweet dog, heard this unusual commotion, ran in
between them and started barking – they stopped shouting and started
laughing! Tabby remembers being at Mass with Mum and Dad and
inadvertently stepping in between them in the communion queue. Dad put
his hand on her shoulder and whispered that he always wanted God to see the
two of them together and would she mind if they swapped places?
I think that is a fair picture of Mum as a wife, mother, grandmother – and
now of course a great-grandmother. But she was so much more than
that! Mum had a really wicked sense of humour! The fact that she
was such a good, sweet, kind person accentuated the effect making that
wickedness all the more hilarious! She loved to tell funny stories
from her life and had a great selection of eye widening jokes and poems
which are definitely not suitable to tell here! She was a very
talented artist who trained at Chelsea School of Art and painted, sculpted
and made lovely pottery. She was so practical, if there was a job that
needed doing, she saw it as a challenge, got a book and did it. She
redid the canework chairs, made loose covers, stencilled decoration round
the house, mended clothes, made picture frames, mended the washing machine
and the lawn mower – you name it, she did it! She was also a gifted
musician. She asked for a keyboard for her 70th Birthday and it had a
wonderful church organ voice so she learned to play one of her favourite
pieces - Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. She played it
beautifully! I think she would have a wry smile to think that this is
the piece we will hear shortly as the curtains close and her coffin makes
At the end of her life, Mum actively looked forward to dying, this is
because she knew where she was going and it is a fabulous place! After
her cousin Julia got her to read Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander, she
encouraged us all to read it. It is the story of a neurosurgeon’s
journey into the afterlife while he was in a coma with meningitis. He
flew on the butterfly’s wing to the most wonderful place full of joy and
unconditional love – that’s where Mum is now, reunited with Dad after 30
years of being apart.
Prayer of Commendation
Father Jeroen Hoogland
From the Dream of Gerontius by St. John Henry Newman
Read by Gavin Fraser
Softly and gently, dearly-ransomed soul,
in my most loving arms I now enfold thee,
and o'er the penal waters, as they roll,
I poise thee, and I lower thee, and hold thee.
And carefully I dip thee in the lake,
and thou, without a sob or a resistance,
dost through the flood thy rapid passage take,
sinking deep, deeper, into the dim distance.
Angels to whom the willing task is given,
shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee, as liest;
and Masses on the earth, and prayers in heaven,
shall aid thee at the Throne of the Most Highest.
Farewell, but not for ever! sister dear,
be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
and I will come and wake thee on the morrow.