A few thoughts – and gratitude – after my dad’s memorial service

– Rebekah leading the prayer (with pastor Marguerite Sirrine)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8
– at WFPC Sunday afternoon

I can’t say for certain that this is my final post about the passing of my dad. It’s been a week now, as he died Monday morning on the 14th (The moment a beautiful light finally faded into eternity…“). But – with yesterday afternoon’s memorial service at WFPC – this does put a nicely weighted punctuation mark to note the conclusion of this particular chapter.

Again, as with so much that has defined this story, Sunday afternoon was pitch perfect, a beautifully choreographed ceremony befitting for a man of such grace and dignity as David Frederick Maul.

So “hats off” to interim pastor Marguerite Sirrine, the bereavement team under the direction of Sandie Buda, and everyone else from Wake Forest Presbyterian Church who made sure the service and the reception ran smoothly.

The service:

Everyone was impressed that my mother, Grace, was able to kick off the “Reflections from Family” portion with a few words describing how she and dad first met (“Who was that girl who prayed….“). She managed it with a lot of poise.

Then it was my turn (another post), followed by Naomi and then Hannah. You can listen to both of them – and the entire service – by clicking on the embedded video below.

What gave me the most joy was to see Rebekah walk up to the pulpit and lead “the long prayer” (prefaced by a few remarks). It was a real privilege for us to be in the WFPC sanctuary again, and to worship together in the company of such good people.

Rev. Bob Beichner, who has been a longtime pastoral presence for both mum and dad, gave a profound and insightful message. His words nicely summed up so many of the sentiments that have been expressed over the past week.

Choosing the right hymns was both easy and difficult. Easy because dad pretty much loved and knew every hymn ever written, and difficult because there are so many that he held close to his heart. We landed on two that he had requested and I had played for him numerous times over the past few months. “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” and “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.” Then Naomi concluded her remarks with a quote from “How Great Thou Art.

I will post a “Part Two” so I can share a transcript of my words. As an alternative, you can just listen to the embedded video.

In love and gratitude – DEREK

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