A path through the strangeness

By the Revd Susannah Reide

This week we had a family funeral, at Oxford Crematorium. Relatives came from Manchester for the day, and we had a brief reunion in the Crematorium car park. My family had all dressed smartly, and afterwards one of my children reflected that in some ways the day had reminded him of Christmas. I took a moment, and then I could see what he meant: we had seen close relations that we hadn’t been able to meet for over a year; we had gathered for a service; we had set aside our normal work; as a family, we had eaten a special meal that evening. I could understand what he meant, comparing a funeral day to Christmas; but it also made me realise again what strange times we are living through.


And this, for me is part of the strangeness: sometimes it seems quite normal to be living our relatively isolated lives; you find a way to accommodate the oddity of one daily piece of exercise, with a maximum of one friend. And at other times it feels as if we are living in a crazy dream, or playing a very peculiar parlour game with a lot of rules. I find it hard to gather for the Eucharist without being able to speak to people afterwards.


On an encouraging note, I am very much enjoying the lengthening days since Candlemas and the sense that Spring is irresistibly coming.


With prayers that you may find a path through the strangeness,