With due respect to the preacher, who did a great job by the way, The most moving part of the funeral I attended today was the Final Roll Call that the fire fighters gave to the deceased.
I was hosting, but not leading, a funeral today at Holy Cross Episcopal church in Pine Ridge. I live on the property of the church. A fellow Lutheran Pastor led the worship service. She is related to the family. She did a wonderful job with the service and the message was quick and to the point. I sat in the back with my mask on and took communion quietly.
I have mentioned before that funerals are very important in this place. This one was no exception. The place was packed with mask wearing participants. The parking area was full of fire and rescue vehicles. The gentleman “A” we were paying our respects to spent many years in service to the community through the fire department.
At the end of the service a gentleman stepped up and called “Roll Call” one last time. He named all the fire fighters that were in attendance and one by one they responded “present” with one responding “Present sir.” When they called “A’s” name multiple times with no answer a person spoke up “A” has taken his final roll call.” At this point another person came forward and recited the “Fire Fighters Prayer”.
“A” left his mark on the world. You could see that he was loved. As the preacher said “A” was a beloved child of God. God loved “A”, God loves you. And so do I!