A couple of Saturdays ago I took part in a funeral procession for a funeral Harold did. Driving slowly through town to the cemetery I started thinking about processions, and how many of them there are in life, and how we take part in them.
Of course, as an Episcopalian, I see a procession every Sunday I go to church. The acolytes and the priest “process” up the aisle to the altar at the beginning of the service, and “recess” back down the aisle at the end of the service. And when we ordain a deacon or a priest, it’s a bigger procession. And a bishop gets “the whole nine yards”. I am always so proud of Harold when he takes part in any of them.
Then, of course, we have wedding processions. (No smart cracks from my family here.) Are they the most fun? Well, probably the answer is yes, except when you look over and see your mother, with her wig on crooked, dabbing at her eyes, because you are marrying that mean old Harold guy. And I distinctly remember that after the ceremony was over and Harold had kissed his bride, I took his arm, Lavinia took up my train, and I said to Harold, “Let’s get out of here!” No one heard me above the organ music, but if we still had Jack’s movies of the wedding we would see me saying it.
The saddest processions of course, are when the casket is brought in to the church, and the priest is praying over it as it comes to rest before the altar. I have stood in the back of many of Harold’s churches and helped unfold the funeral pall over the casket, and waited at the back to remove it from the casket after the service. Harold has done all the funerals for my family, but they’ve all been in funeral homes, so I’ve never done this for any of my family. I hope my efforts have been pleasing to the other families however.
But I want to end on a happier note. The most exciting processions I’ve been in were the times when we would drive to wherever in Indiana to meet Aunt Taday and Uncle Estil who would be on their way to a show. It would be a preset place to meet the police and we and the cars of the families of the Sr. and Jr. Briarhoppers would join in. The policemen would lead, with their lights and sirens on, and bring up the rear the same way. I get chills just thinking about it. We would run the stop lights, and get to park right up by the back of the stage door and go in with the “show folk”. The Jr. and Sr. Briarhoppers were big business, and they had to come from Cincinnati, so they needed the escort, as they came the longest distance. It was so exciting for a girl of twelve or thirteen to see that happening around her. No wonder I thought I wanted to be famous someday. ;-)
So these are my processions. Wonderful memories all. Thanks for reading.