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Monday, August 22, 2011

Sir Paul Reeves

I was privileged to be at the state funeral for Sir Paul. It was an extraordinary gathering and, of course, it honored an extraordinary man. The service was impressive - not just in it's dignity but in the extraordinary way the liturgy gave space for, and coherence to, a great diversity: state and church; Maori and Pakeha; local and international; the formal and the informal.. As we processed in, the music being played in the forecourt was a waltz and one Dean murmured to me 'shall we dance?' - and that suggests something of the spiritedness of the occasion.

Contrast that to, say, the Stanford Nunc Dimittis sung after the Commendation, during which Tiki Raumati softly recited a poroporoake (farewell) while the casket was sprinkled with holy water and censed - the nice touch (for me at least) was that he gave the censer to one of the daughters and guided her round the casket as she censed it. It was holy and personal and numinous.

I came back feeling moved and humbled by all I had seen and heard - not at all a bad way to feel after a funeral.


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