And we as Christians live by that assurance, as phrased by Dylan Thomas. But there are days that one is tempted to question it. And today is another of those days. My brother in Christ, Howard Royce, died yesterday afternoon while undergoing heart surgery.
Harold was another of those utter fine and upstanding Christian men that have graced life for my family and me at Mount Olive. He was of advanced age, but he never flagged in displaying a commitment to Christ and to His Body in Minneapolis that is commendable in every sense of the term. He is one of those stalwarts -- generous with his time and attention, regular in his attendance (regardless of weather), humble and gentle in his manner -- that all us parents who raise children in the Church want them at least to see around them at liturgy. And it didn't hurt that he was a North Dakota native --a bond we shared; something he and I both crowed about quite enthusiastically.
Please, together with the rest of Mount Olive's people and me, pray for the repose of his spirit and for comfort for his wife of decades, Evelyn, and his family.
For music appropriate to end this post and to honor Howard, I refer you to the blog of my sister in Christ, where she "embeds" a Ukrainian choir singing the Kedrov setting of the Our Father (Otche Nash) in Church Slavonic. Check it out here.
Eternal rest grant, our and my brother Howard, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his memory be eternal.