Monday, August 26, 2013

The Sexton

As I lie on my preserved plot in the Anglican cemetery on Lotus Island, getting the feel of it, the blue sky and cumulus clouds and bright sun that I love along with the pastoral surroundings of verdant nature will be there, as before, when I am underground. For my sins I guess, I am the cemetary manager for the four Anglican cemetaries on Lotus island where there seems to be more dead Anglicans than live Anglicans these days. That makes me the sexton and the description of that job says one is the custodian of the sacred objects. Can I think of a more sacred set of objects than the remains of the families' and friends' loved ones? I cannot! To assist with those who choose the plot they wish, to organize and be with those who dig, to stand back as the circle of family and the priest inter the remains, and connect with the grief at the outer edge of the circle,  becomes an enclosing act of worship, not just for the person, but for the event of commital. To enter the earth and become the earth is the final act and the final goodbye. I had no idea my first year as a sexton would teach me so much. I guess it may be true that most, or maybe all of life is just a rehearsal!

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