Monday, 19 November 2012

A Very Welsh Funeral

The tiny chapel on London Road was packed when I got there.
Mrs Jones' funeral was always going to be well supported
after all she was a much respected farmer's wife amid whole dynasties of farmers around the village
and a whole lot of them turned up to say their goodbyes
 
Eventually, I just managed to find standing room by the door, right next to Alun Hughes, Chair of the carnival committee. I had never seen the chapel so full..
People were even standing in the chapel kitchen. 
Everyone seemed to be there, The RFWF in a clean jacket for once!, Ralph the gentleman farmer with Louenna, Gladys of course, Mr Evans the old baker,Jenny the ex post mistress,Olwenna Hughes from her  Rhyl nursing home,Pat my animal helper sporting her new trendy haircut!. Old Islwyn Thomas from Bron Haul,the list just went on and on and on, and suddenly I was transported into a bygone age which has almost gone by when the mostly welsh speaking congregation started up with their first hymn.
Shaky at first, the old tried and tested voices of  Meirion Hughes and others I did not recognise started to catch their own natural harmonies as they belted out

"Gogoniant byth am drefn
y  cymod a'r glanghad;
Derbyniaf lesu fel yr wyf,
Achanaf am y gwaed!"

After their old voices echoed in the eaves
I could have cried  at the "rarity" of it all

40 comments:

  1. Bloody sad saying farewell

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tradition and community are a great comfort during times of grief - your community sounds just lovely. I'm a bit weepy myself today as some friends have just experienced a similar loss.
    These same friends visited Wales last year and said that the government is really supporting a revival of the Welsh language (they even learned a few phrases as part of their travel prep) - is that true where you are? Your post sounds like speaking Welsh is not common (but not forgotten either).

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is nothing more touching or meaningful that a village full of love ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sleep well lovely Mrs Jones.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I guess you were mourning two losses.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  6. There is still a tradition here John of attending funerals. It is the way of showing respect in village life I think, and like you I am always deeply moved by it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It sounds lovely.the only funeral I plan to attend is my own and hopefully I dont show up or Im very late or busy.
    My ex was always pleading me to attend his funeral so I says Tell me the day and time and I will be there.Got him to stop.
    Be at peace Mrs Jones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bev
      didnt WC Fields say at the crowded funeral of a hated fellow actor
      "GIVE THE PUBLIC HAT THEY WANT AND THEY ALWAYS TURN OUT FOR IT"

      Delete
  8. sounds like a perfect send off.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very respectful and praise worthy John. Are you familiar with the writing of the Welsh poet RS Thomas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no dave...I am afraid I am not

      Delete
  10. It sounds like you're mourned the passing of a way of life as well as the loss of Mrs. Jones. As time marches on, it sometimes out the past and more's the pity.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A worthy farewell. Rest now, Mrs. Jones.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I went 'oop north' for a funeral last week. We got there 20 mins early and the villagers had already packed out the little chapel. There is nothing to beat village community life.

    I had not seen some of my mother's family for nearly 30 years, but they still made us feel as welcome as if we lived just round the corner.

    Glad Mrs Jones had such a heartfelt send off too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So sad to say goodbye but what a lovely tribute to her that so many were there. It might have been nice if someone could have recorded that Welsh hymn.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful. Who cares about the weather with a sendoff like that?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fly with the Angels Mrs Jones....

    ReplyDelete
  16. They say a testament to a man's worth is how many people show up to his funeral:
    Mrs. Jones was surely well-loved, may she rest in peace.
    ~Jo

    ReplyDelete
  17. http://youtu.be/hY1kNZYhjuo Is this the song, John?

    ReplyDelete
  18. thank you
    it was
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  19. I did not know a word they were saying, but I cried also.

    Most funerals for 80 year+ old people here are not well attended as many of the deceasedfriends and relatives have gone before them. What a tribute to Mrs. Jones. She must have had a life well lived and touched many a heart.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So long, Mrs.Jones! I am happy to have had the chance to 'meet' you....thanks to John.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That's the one thing about living in a small community, everyone cares about one another.

    Gill

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sounds like a much adored and fine lady. May she rest in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ditto everyone's comments. What a touching thing to share. As was said above, I'm glad I got to "know" Mrs. Jones, thanks to you John. Godspeed Mrs. Jones, godspeed.

    ReplyDelete
  24. May old Mrs Jones rest in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Listening to Welsh being sung, gets me going too. Cheerio Mrs J; we'll all be there in time.... looking forward to meeting you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You must have felt very proud of your village John, and of having the privilege of knowing such a fine lady.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Good to hear how many came to say their goodbyes to Mrs Jones.

    ReplyDelete
  28. A full chapel/church always says a lot about a person...God speed

    ReplyDelete
  29. I hope you found strength and solace as so many of you gathered to pay your final respects.

    And thank you, John for introducing her to us via your blog.

    RIP, Mrs Jones

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a wonderful hymn John, and a wonderful send off for Mrs Jones, I'm sure. The English for the chorus is

    "I am coming Lord,
    Coming now to Thee,
    Wash me, cleanse me in the blood,
    That flowed on Calvary."

    ReplyDelete
  31. To be that loved!

    The Welsh language is beautiful (even if i don't understand a word). Thanks so much for sharing the video. (I'm very, very impressed with the Gay Men's Chorus of Trelawnyd.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they were not wearing their usual rainbow jackets m!

      Delete
  32. I just love hearing the Welsh language. I wonder whether the newspapers still list all the mourners. I remember attending my uncle's (Mr. Jones) funeral in Oswestry prior to emigrating and all the mourners were listed in the Oswestry "Tizer".

    It is one of my cousin's birthday today so I will be phoning him in Welshpool and enjoying the accent.

    Rest in Peace Mrs. Jones.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Quite often you make me laugh, very often you make smile and occasionally you make me cry. Like now. It's the choir see.

    ReplyDelete
  34. A funeral is a reflection of a person's life. I love when everyone shows up to a point of overflowing. It is a great testament of a life well lived.

    ReplyDelete
  35. a lovely tribute for Mrs. Jones and well sung to be sure!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them x