Barbara Bush’s funeral service today was beautiful.  Comments by family and friends about former First Lady Barbara Bush were gracious and revealed her humility, humor, and rock steady grip on matters of personal values and civility.

In recent weeks we have heard many anecdotes about how devoted George H. W. and Barbara were to each other.  They are remaining remnants of the "Greatest Generation".

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston is a marvelous Gothic cathedral and the very "high church" liturgical service reminded me of my days as a Lutheran.  Lutheran and Episcopal services are nearly identical, so I knew most of the liturgy. I miss the liturgy.

The cameras panned over the attendees and next to the Obamas, Michelle and Barack, sat Melania Trump.  Her husband was conspicuously absent.

Thursday, President Trump sent his condolences and said that he would not be attending to “avoid disruptions and out of respect for the family”.  That is noble, if true.  Perhaps he did not attend because he would not be the center of attention.  Perhaps, he was simply…uninvited.

“But you, you're not allowed

You're uninvited

An unfortunate slight”.

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Comment by Anna Herrington on April 21, 2018 at 11:47am

Heading out the door, but interesting, your observance on Episcopal and Lutheran services. I grew up Episcopalian (later called myself Episcopagan) and my husband is a Lutheran preacher's kid, the stereotypical black sheep in the family. The services his father gave were worlds apart from the liberal services I grew up with.... back later...

Comment by Rodney Roe on April 21, 2018 at 12:53pm

Anna, I understand that there are odd Episcopal churches, but the Lutherans are along a whole spectrum from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) which is the merged Norwegian and Swedish churches - which tend to be pretty liberal - through the Missouri Synod which is conservative and German and the Wisconsin Synod which, I understand, is even more conservative and rigid.  Many of the Lutheran Churches along the Mississippi river and across the South are Missouri Synod.  Personal anecdote:  I was working away from home for a few months and started going to a tiny Missouri Synod church.  As it turned out the pastor was the older brother of one of my high school classmates.  Missouri Synod has a policy of not giving communion to non-Missouri Synod members, and requires one to meet with the Pastor before service to be grilled about belief. 

So, I didn't take communion.  One Sunday a fellow stopped me in the parking lot and asked why I didn't partake.  I explained and he said, "Hell, I'm not even Lutheran."  Fred, the pastor, explained that that church was so far off the radar that they did what they wanted, and he felt that any believer ought to be served.

F.M. I thought that George W. was the worst president ever until Trump.  I now know how bad "worst" is.  So, I'm not a fan of the Bush family politics, but I admire them as people with values that I share.

Comment by Boanerges on April 21, 2018 at 2:25pm

Trump was golfing. And no, given that she loathed him, I doubt he'd have been invited anyway.

What you know as Episcopal we call Church of England and/or "High Anglican", I believe. The liturgy is little changed from the Roman Catholic, from my admittedly limited experience (churches and I don't get along very well), except of course for who's at the top of the pyramid.

And yes, it's beautiful. Red, a lapsed Catholic, still has deep feelings about the solemnity, majesty and mystery of the Latin mass.

Comment by marilyn sands on April 21, 2018 at 8:31pm

Yes, it was lovely.  Besides the eulogies - all the music that was chosen was so perfect & "Holy City" was inspiring.

Comment by Rodney Roe on April 22, 2018 at 2:55am

Boanerges and Marilyn, I sang in church choirs until my eyesight failed.  That experience was what kept me going back until it wasn't enough to overcome the cognitive dissonance.

The Holy City was stirring.  I wondered where that choir came from.  Were they all parishioners at St. Martin's or recruited from elsewhere?  I once sang Handel's Messiah in a city wide choir from the loft of a magnificent Roman Catholic Cathedral.  That was one of the high points of  my singing experience. We all practice separately and then just gathered and put it on. 

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