Homily preached by the Reverend Linda Anchell
"Little children; where I am going, you cannot come."
We gather from so many parts of Jean's life.
Friends from Carey Gardens, especially Audrey;
Family of at least three generations;
(many thanks to the work of the grandchildren today!)
I stand here for Jean Pound's parish family. We do miss you Jean.
Our rector, Rebecca, is terribly disappointed to be stuck in Wollongong Hospital today! I am very grateful to Ray Williamson, and it is good to have Howard Warren chaplain at Carey Gardens, and Daniel Dries from Christ Church St Lawrence with us today.
For everything, there is a season.
We know it was time Jean, and for you welcomed,
But allow us to miss you! We are saddened.
The phone will not be picked up, it will not ring; we have to be satisfied with that sense of presence. Certainly for close family a sense of constant presence. Jean had that with her three lost children. Robert, Rosemary and Godfrey.
In this place, St Philip's, we have been missing Jean for some time. We remember a remarkable woman. Sarah remembers Sunday afternoon in Fisher talking about absolutely everything; a remarkable mind.
Some years ago, Jean celebrated her ninetieth birthday here. —
She chose the hymns that day.
Today we have a gift from Jean as we sing those same hymns.
Perhaps our gift to Jean are the readings chosen by Elizabeth and Malcolm. Chosen to reflect so much what Jean was and what she believed.
The focus is on love.
A New commandment I give,
That you love one another as I have loved you.
A new commandment…
A new love.
Ecclesiastes reminds us of the span of life ——
A time to be born; a time to die
… God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by."
all should stand in awe before him
As Jean did; as Jean does.
Jean was a woman of deep faith,
With a disciplined prayer life
Extending even to meditation.
Two days before her death, Jean took communion.
Rebecca said the communion service with her. Jean had no need of a prayer book.
That is partly why we have a communion today. But also, because Jean chose for her 90th birthday to sing the hymn:
"Lord at your first Eucharist you prayed,
That all your church might be forever one …"
It is a prayer for a future time.
Sacraments will cease.
In the meantime, we have here an open table. Having communion at a funeral can be a difficulty. We all come from so many different places, faiths and beliefs.
But we come to know the whole of Jean, the bits we didn't know; the life we didn't share. Please feel welcome to come to the communion. If you are unable, then come simply for a blessing. We share this communion with Jean, and come to remember her. However you wish to participate, it will be a time of quiet reflection and remembrance as we hear Saint-Saens music of "The Swan".
So, Lord, at length when sacraments shall cease,
may we be one with all your church above,
one with your saints in one unbroken peace
one with your saints in one unbroken love;
more blessed still, in peace and love to be,
one with the Trinity in Unity.
Let us be there with Jean today;
And, Jean, may the Lord defend your going out and your coming in,
from this time forward for evermore.