Richard Perry Funeral
Prayers and Liturgy
WHY WE ARE HERE
Words of Welcome
The greatest honour we can bring to mark his death, is – in a moment of silence – to imagine looking him in the eye and telling him why we have come today.
In these few moments of silence, I invite you to do just that.
We are here because, in one way or another, this death affects us all.
We are here because, confronted with the death of someone we know, we are confronted with our own mortality, confronted with the cruel, harsh, reality that human life is brief, and vulnerable, and unfair.
We are here to lament, to face our grief, and to weep.
But we are also here to celebrate.
We are here to recognise that, however brief, the days given to us are not a God-given right, but an unspeakable gift.
We are here to marvel at the unfathomable complexity of life, the fruit of 13.7 billion years of evolutionary struggle, converging on the brilliance of this one man whom we have known and loved.
We are here in gratitude, to encounter joy, and to laugh.
Today, laughter and tears belong together, the positive and the negative poles that electrify the monstrous improbability of the life that has been granted to each of us.
We are here to remember Richard, who has died.
To consider our own death.
To reflect upon the years that have passed,
And to consider the sheer wealth of opportunity in the years that remain for us.
To be human, is to be in relationship with others, to live in solidarity with others.
And so it is together that we lament, and together that we celebrate.
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION AND REMEMBRANCE
Lord, as we are confronted today with our humanity and our vulnerability, we are forced to think about how we use and how we squander the time that is given to us.
We think of those we love, and lament that we are sometimes less than dependable, less than communicative, less than we could be.
We think of those with whom our lives interweave, and recognise that we might have a greater and more positive impact upon their lives than we have bothered to foster.
We think of ourselves in relation to others and to you, and confess that the triviality of the moment has distracted us from reflecting upon our origins, our ends, and all that lies between.
Forgive us for our triviality, our selfishness, our sin. And help us to wake up to who we are to others, and to you. May we know your grace in the depths of our being, and may that grace radiate from us to others.
Especially today we think about Richard. We recall times when we let him down. But we remember also how he sometimes let us down.
We feel all too deeply, that when he let go of life, he let go of us.
And we are here to let go of Richard,
To entrust him to your care,
And as we have considered what we would say to him, we pause now to hear what he might say to us in this moment.
By your grace, make us a people who can hear.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING
We thank you because you made us in your own image and gave us gifts that reflect something of who you are.
We thank you now for Richard, and what he meant to each of us.
We think especially of his loving, caring but humorous nature – and of his phenomenal gifts as an artist.
And we thank you for what we meant to Richard, for all that he valued in us.
As we honour his memory, allowing it to impact upon who we are today, and who we might become tomorrow, make us more aware that you are the one from whom comes every perfect gift, including the gift of resurrection,
Through Jesus Christ.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION /COMMENDATION
God of all grace and Lord of all comfort.
We pray now for all who have been separated from those they love, and those who have loved them.
In the silence, we think of others we have lost, whose voices we no longer hear, whose touch we no longer feel, but whose love remains rooted in the depths of our being.
As we grieve now for Richard, and prepare to re-enter the world as a different place,
a place in which he no longer walks, awaken us again to your presence.
The presence of One who loved, and was loved by Richard.
The presence of One who, in your grace, welcomes Richard into your company.
And so we commend to you now, our beloved Richard.
Welcome him, bless him and keep him,
Make your face to shine upon him.
And by your grace, may your light shine through our memory of him.
Though he has gone, may something of Richard continue to enlighten us, to shape who we are, and to affect the world around us,
to his credit,
And to the glory of your name.