Saturday, August 29, 2009
Paul's funeral service on 13 August 2009 (in English)
Thursday 13th August 2009
Church of Saint Saviour
The Chorus “See Upon Your Path” (sung by Clara, Léana, Aleandra, Emmanuelle, accompanied by Michel on piano):
See upon your path
Children forgotten and lost.
Give them a hand,
To lead them
To other tomorrows.
Feel in the the middle of the night
The wave of hope,
The ardour of life,
The path to glory.
Erased and forgotten too soon.
A golden light shines endlessly
At the end of the road.
First reading: 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4
But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
And so we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Second reading: Saint Augustine
Death is nothing at all.
I have simply slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were for each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together …
Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was: there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind,
Because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner …
You see, all is well.....
You will find my heart again, you will rediscover its pure affection.
Dry your tears and do not cry if you love me …
Third reading: John, chapter 5, vv 24-28
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself,
and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice.
1. Clara (Paul’s sister)
Paul, everything that you undertook, you did with passion and excellence.
You always wanted to go further, and at the same time, you remained very understated.
2. Léana (Paul’s cousin)
I remember last summer, when Clara and I were working hard on our holiday homework. To challenge himself, and because his own homework was too easy, Paul started doing my homework as well as his own.
Paul, your willpower and intelligence always impressed me.
3. Alexandra (Paul’s cousin)
When we were on holiday in the south of France, we discovered an enormous fig tree whose fruits looked delicious. Clara, Léana and I immediately started eating the figs greedily. Meanwhile, Paul peeled the fruit delicately for us like a gentleman.
Paul, I will always remember your kindness.
4. Corinne (Paul’s aunt)
Paul, during the twelve years which you granted us, you made an indelible impression on the lives of all those who knew you.
For your teachers, you were an example, not only because of the excellence of your work, but also because of the energy and enthusiasm with which you inspired the class. You brought your friends together, and during your illness they all gathered around you.
For your family, your joie de vivre and your humour were the sparks which brightened each moment. Young and old alike, we all sought to be with you.
Even once ill, the depth of your character still shone through, without ever complaining, even in moments of suffering. Your generosity, your kindness and your intelligence helped us and gave us strength and courage.
A wonderful circle of love formed around you which wasn’t only limited to your close family, because you always had the extraordinary ability to bring out the best in those close to you.
Paul, your strength and your smile will sustain us forever.
I am not the one who best knew Paul. It was during his illness that I had the opportunity to become close to him and to his family.
How to deal with the feeling of injustice? How to face pain and incomprehension? How can we accept the recall of a pure soul, of a child?
We are partly the result of our actions and partly the result of what others have done for us.
Paul received a lot of love from his family and gave back love in return without counting. So many links, so much affection given and received, leave a painful vacuum when life ends.
We prayed for Paul's cure, but we were not heard. We are mortal, but we are never ready. Paul, like all of us, was going to die one day. But Paul had a life to live first, parents to love, a family to start, love to give to his children. For us this was not his time.
I have no answer to give. But I can tell you what I witnessed during Paul’s illness.
Firstly I saw an example of courage, a magnificent boy, full of humour, zest for life, sensitivity.
I saw a family overflowing with love living in full communion with Paul.
I saw an extraordinary chain of solidarity uniting men and women of very diverse backgrounds, who would never have woven such links if Paul had not been affected by the disease.
I had on numerous occasions the feeling of God's love in the union which formed around Paul.
Then, even if it is not an explanation, I cannot refrain from thinking of the one who died on the cross, still giving love, and I hope that Paul lives now beside him.
If it is true that man was created in the image of God, if we look like him, it is in Paul's face and in the links woven around him that I was able to recognize the face of the other one, the face of the fellow man, the face of the one who loves us all and who will always love us.
Despite the pain and the incomprehension, I say to the Lord: thank you for having given us Paul.
Paul, you were much more than just my son.
Your strength of character, your intelligence, your zest for life, your humour, your humanity, made you a unique child, so different.
Yes, I was captivated by your charm, but I wasn't the only one.
Living with you was a constant joy.
You often surprised us.
You made us laugh every day.
But your spirit was as pure as your body was burdened.
You left too early.
You still had so many things to give.
One of your professors wrote at the end of a school year: Paul, you'll go very far in life.
But your life on earth doesn't belong to us.
You remain always present in me, and when I think about you, now, I smile.
Philippe, Suzy and I have two suns:
You, Paul, who will always be in us,
And you, Clara, who we love so deeply, who we need so much, and for whom we'll do the impossible to bring you all the happiness you deserve.
With a smile.
With your smile.
The Chorus “Like a child” (sung by Clara, Léana, Aleandra, Emmanuelle, accompanied by Michel on piano):
Like a child
Who walks on the earth
Head in the air and
Hair blowing in the wind.
Like a child
Who walks on the earth
And smiles while dreaming.
Here I am! Lord!
Here I am like a child
Here I am! Lord!
Here I am like a child.
at 3:07 PM