I attended an All Souls Eucharist, but did not stay the full course. It was the sermon what done it. A collection of unexamined clichés delivered in a sing-songy voice. I was not surprised. And the accompanying Faure Requiem I also tend to regard as clichéd these days, a victim of its cosy popularity and Classic FM promotion. But the sermon. It was not good. Laced with a liberal cleric’s references to the bereaved’s pain (grief no longer serving as a description, all inner distress is these days ‘pain’) and references to ‘those on the other side’. The delivery was sugary, the cadences of the sentimentalist, the preacher giving hints that they had never really experienced the horror of bereavement, or of the attachments and intimacies that give rise to it.
All Souls, poor souls
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