hoping we never have to use it

30 Jul

Yesterday we received something new at the parish which we hope that we will never use.

01 IMG_0095

Over the years we have had, as every parish has had, funerals for babies, infants, toddlers and young children, not many, thankfully, but more than we would have liked. Each time we bring a small casket to church we have not had a funeral pall that would gracefully cover the casket, once it was sprinkled with baptismal waters. So, we had one made.

02 IMG_0099

There are buttercups (yellow), bluebells (dark blue), roses (pink), and, get ready, baby’s breath (white), and, here is the hardest, forget-me-nots (blue).

The flowers are bunched like a bouquet a child picked to give to her/his mother, and which the mother grouped together, tying a ribbon around it. The purple ribbon is a “mourning” ribbon.

The butterfly helps parents and mourners to focus on new life, being reminded of the metamorphosis that takes place as the butterfly leaves its caccoon to be free in its beauty and flight.

This pall was almost two years in the making. It is one of kind. There is no other like it.

03 IMG_0426Alice is the love and the skill that gave birth to this work of art. It was designed, she tells us, “by a non-Catholic young lady in Massachusetts.” Alice has made other regular size palls for other priests and other churches in our area, but this is the only one that she has made in this smaller size for children.  It was her goal, hope and dream to be able to finish it for us and for the parents who would need to bury children before her eyes went bad and before her arthritis got worse.

04 IMG_0102

Now that you have finished this good work that God began in you, Alice, may your eyes and hands continue to serve you as well as you have served others with your eyes and hands.

And may we never have to use this child-size funeral pall.

5 Responses to “hoping we never have to use it”

  1. Char July 30, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Such love shows thru for all who see this piece of beauty, and May hearts be touched!!

  2. Aimee May July 30, 2014 at 10:54 am #


  3. judymoyerhoffman July 30, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Beautiful work Alice. As a member of the bereavement committee, I thank you so very much for sharing your time and talents with us. And yes, let’s pray that we never have to use it. Please God.

  4. hopevoices July 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Amen, Father Rob!
    Beautiful work, Alice!

    JoAnne Lacey

  5. Sharon Bohlen July 30, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    What a beautiful pall, stitched with great love. Unfortunately, I know a part of the world which could use many, many child-sized burial cloths. May we continue to use our hands to promote peace and comfort for all God’s children. God bless you, Alice, for dedicating two years to this act of love!

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