Monday, 31 October 2011

In Memory of Lost Friends

We were invited to a little remembrance service just the other day, when the ashes of a friend, who died a year ago, were to be scattered in Taizé. Our friend Chris passed away last year on 27th October and his wife Linda has made a journey over the last week visiting places they loved, making sure she was in Taizé for the anniversary of his death. After his ashes were scattered (with the brothers’ permission I might add) we had a little ceremony at one of the small shrines. Whilst Linda had said it should be a joyous not a sad occasion, I had my doubts, but it was a very joyous occasion, we were able to remember Chris and think about what he had brought to our lives and then, as I am sure he would have approved of, we went out for a superb lunch accompanied by local wine. Thank you Linda for inviting us and letting us say our last farewell. (BTW the photo has been blatantly stolen from her blog).

Coincidentally this week sees the Jour des Morts – All Souls’ Day (2nd November) which is the day the French remember their family and friends who have passed away, conveniently the day after Toussaint - All Saints Day which is a holiday in France, so that everyone can have the day off to get their chrysanthemums to their family graves in time. It is a lovely tradition as once a year everyone visits the graves of their family and friends giving themselves the time to think about those who have gone before. Graves all over France are decorated with chrysanthemums and other flowers which makes the graveyards a stunning site, not dissimilar to a garden show, at this time of year. Interestingly the tradition of honouring the dead started by St Odilio the abbot of Cluny in 998 and this spread to the rest of the western world yet another demonstration of the influence that the Cluny Abbey had in those days.

La Tuilerie Website

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