Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Light and Sorrow

Last night I attended the funeral of Winston James Miroy, age twenty, the oldest son of good friends of mine. The service was held at my former parish in Northern Virginia. It was a bit different from the normal Orthodox funeral because it was held on the Monday after Pascha, (Easter Sunday for you in the West). In the week after Pascha all services are changed to celebrate the joy and hope of the resurrection. The usual service is beautiful in its own right, solemn, penitent and reflective. The service during this week has all of that, but also adds some of that hope, joy and fervor of the Paschal celebration. We wept together with his parents, friends and family, but also joined in the great shout of "Christ is Risen" and sang that He "is trampling down death by death and on those in the tomb bestowing life." The words did not deny our grief or diminish the feelings of loss for the absence of this good young man. They were not a denial of pain and loss, but a statement that the deepest truth is not exhausted by loss and grief, that, even in the midst of great sorrow there is still the possibility of hope and, someday, of joy.