Memorial Rose Garden
Dearly Beloved: We are gathered together tonight in sorrowing sisterhood to consecrate in our hearts and memory the life and virtues of a dearly departed sister.
As she stood before in Darkness, initiate, so stands she now initiate to the mystery of Death, and we in the somber shadows of our grief.
The glowing torch of her bright self must be henceforward absent from us here, but the clear light of her spirit shall remain, undimmed, to guide and strengthen us whom she preceded.
In life she was devoted to the good, the true, the beautiful, and was by color, form and music touched to tears. With loyal heart and with unflagging effort she faithfully fulfilled her duties here. Then, being weary for a moment, she lay down to rest, using her burden for a pillow, and fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down her eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world she passed to timeless silence and to formless space.
So, every life, no matter if its every hour be rich with love and every moment jeweled with joy, must, at its close become to those who stay, a tragedy as sad and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death.
But in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustling of a wing.
She was a faithful and true friend, a treasure inestimable in possession, and deeply lamented in the loss. If we in her lifetime were not always worthy of her love, let us now in her death resolve to be more worthy of the love all other members of our sisterhood. Nothing is more common than to talk of a friend, nothing more difficult than to find one, nothing more rare than to improve by one as ought. She has taught us it is best to live in time as friends to those with whom we could be to all eternity, for true friendship is infinite and immortal.
The record of generous life runs like a vine around her memory and her every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower. Were every one to whom she did service to bring a blossom to her grave she would sleep tonight beneath a wilderness of flowers.
Life is a narrow vale between two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. But through the mist of our tears the light of love beholds a rainbow, the rainbow of her virtues; the red of her courage, the orange of her loyalty, the yellow of her vision, the green of her fellowship, the blue of her humility, and the orchid of her service. Character survives, goodness lives, love is immortal.
The torch of our sisterhood lighted her way on earth, but she hath now no need for sun or moon. But we have need to keep forever bright within our hearts the memory of her living presence.
Speech cannot contain our Love. She was, she is, our sister.
Eternal Father, Shepherd of the Stars, guide us that we may follow only the good, only the True, only the Beautiful. Hold aloft to us the guiding torch of wisdom and help us to push on, undaunted, toward the light. Illume our souls with Thy wisdom that we in turn may light the way for those who follow us. If the road we take seems obscured in dust, give us skill and grace to pave it with stars, to transmute the dust into stardust. Grant us such clearness of vision, such sweetness of spirit, such earnestness of purpose that we may follow the torch to our goal.
May the Lord watch between me and thee, while we are absent one from the other.