Hold On Tight…

Life can be a bit of a roller coaster at times…

A recent day was very much like that. One minute I was blessed to share in one of the happiest moments in a person’s life. The joy of the wedding was palpable; in the huge smiles of the family and friends, the even wider smiles of the couple themselves, and the exuberant ululations (zaghareet) that kept firing out of the nave of the Church from all quarters! The lovely couple were listening to every word of the marriage prayers, drinking the spirit of the rite and living the jubilation of this day of their unification in the spirit. The crowns and capes with which they were ornamented made them look truly royal, as befits the children of the King of Kings. With pure and simple hearts they gazed longingly at each other every now and then. No wonder the Bible likens Holy Communion to a marriage feast!

A short while later I was with another family in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital, struggling to help them cope with the imminent death of their mother. She was slipping away right before them, her physical body in tatters and her mind no longer present in the forgetfulness of unconsciousness. She was hardly recognisable as the ravages of disease, and of the valiant attempts to control that disease, showed just how fragile this human tent really is.

It is hard to accept death.

For the bereaved, it leaves behind a sort of numb blankness, an emptiness without reason, a darkness of the soul. Whether it is expected or not, it is never easy for us to accept, for we are too used to getting what we want. Yet here is something that is beyond our control.

And still, for the Christian, there is something that alleviates that agony. The loss is harsh, but the knowledge of the blessing that the departed is about to receive is a great comfort. In departing this mortal earth, in casting off this cage of flesh and bone, the spirit is freed to soar with angels to heights of glory and unimagined joy. The barriers between the creation and the Creator are finally lifted, and the spirit enters the undiluted Light for which she has longed all her existence. How can anyone not rejoice for the departed one they love?

Joy, and sadness. Sadness and joy. I sometimes wonder how we manage not to throw up on this rather extreme rollercoaster. Just don’t eat too much fairy floss…

Fr Ant

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One Reply to “Hold On Tight…”

  1. It is true as Christians that we rely all the time in “God,s Will ” specially in those sad aspects which are beyond our own comprehension and control as humans ….. we learned in our ritual belief that” God give and God take ” and we praise the name of the lord all the time and we keep rolling in our materialistic life all the time as we learned to accept and adjust to any loss by the time …….we learned that life continues and will not stop by the death or the loss of any thing in our earthly life ….we learned that our life on earth is short and temporary as compared to our longer great eternal life next to our lord Jesus Christ so we feel , accept , comforted and adjust to any loss in our materialistic life as we consider it as a profit and credit for our eternal life …..everything in black and white …no Grey areas are there …everybody accept the fact of the unknown and try to adjust to it ….even some people they go further in their acceptance of the fact of death by preparing their funerals and site of burial …they know where their dusted body where it will be ended …so the bottom line the departed person accept and adjust to the fact of death feeling that our lord Jesus Christ will fulfill all his promises ….i believe our church is doing a great job in this area of concern , of grief in this part of the world as in every funeral one priest enter and do a sermon and as he finished another priest enter and do another sermon , really they comfort and support the relatives of the deceased and pass the message of eternity to all the the funeral church congregation on site …..as for marriage we might refer to it another time but really our church needs to address and do a lot in prevention and early intervention , as well the right way of solving crisis and through the right people ???!! i wonder if the Coptic communities in other parts of the world have got similar marriage crisis as we do here …. the more crisis now is that our boys and girls prefer to marry from other cultures and avoid the Coptic Culture and its problems , it is really sad ???!!!may the holy spirit work on all of us to do the right thing ,amen ….

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