Saturday, December 31, 2011

On the fifth day of Christmas ...

... I attended a High Church Anglican funeral service at St John the Evangelist, Soldiers Hill, Ballarat. The requiem Eucharist was to celebrate the life of Rosalie Bonighton, a composer of liturgical organ and choral music of great renown in the region and beyond.

In the words of David Oulton's homily:

"Her music was like the symphony of her life, complex, rich, exacting, encompassing a wide range of style and sparkle. It was beautiful, enchanting, heady, clever."

The music at the funeral service (which included Bonighton's Melbourne Mass) was sung by Vox and the Ballarat Grammar Chamber Choir and was just beautiful. The Eucharist was almost identical to a Catholic Mass but with enough extra prayers and readings thrown in to extend it by a good country mile.

After the service the congregation gathered silently in the church grounds listening to the tolling of the newly installed automatic bell.

Later we enjoyed a few moments of quiet contemplation on the shores of Lake Wendouree before driving back to Melbourne to continue the next days of Christmas.

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