08 Feb A Very Personalised Celebration of Life
This week I conducted a Scottish themed celebration of life for a gentleman who was very proud of his Scottish roots. The family asked that this be made quite a prominent part of his celebration of life.
As we entered the chapel the song, ‘Mull of Kintyre’ played, purely for the bagpipe section, to be honest, but then I opened up the service with the following poem;
Why is it that my heart stirs
When I hear the bagpipes play?
Why do I feel that Scotland is my home
When I live so far away?
Why do I feel a sense of pride
When I see the Saltire fly?
Although it may seem strange to you,
Perhaps I can tell you why.
When you are born of Scottish blood
Something strange seems to take place
As if a seed is planted within you
That makes you fiercely proud of your race
This Scottish patriotism never dies
And in your soul it always remains
Because Scotland is as much a part of you
As the blood running through your veins.
After sharing memories of his life and listening to a piece of music that he absolutely loved during a few moments of reflection, I thought I would share with his friends and family the story of how the Thistle came to be known as ‘The Flower of Scotland’.
The story goes that an invading Norse Army planned to invade the Scots by slaughtering them whilst they slept. This attack required as much stealth as possible, so the invaders attacked barefoot. Unfortunately for them, one of the attackers stepped on a thistle and his cries of pain were enough to wake the sleeping Scotsmen, who charged into battle and defeated their enemies.
And so the Thistle was named The Flower of Scotland.
I then read this poem:
To Scots you’re more than just a flower
You’re a symbol of great strength and power
Wrapped in shades of purple and green
You’re the bonniest flower this land has seen.
Some folks say that you’re just a weed
But we Scots think you’re a mighty breed
You’re delicate, yet strong and bold
And worth more to us than silver or gold
And you’re loved by Scottish hearts
And you always were, right from the start
With your purple heads and your spiny stems
You’re the richest of all of Scotland’s gems
The whole service came to a close by playing ‘Flower of Scotland’ sung by Kenneth McKellar.https://youtu.be/aL8_UwtkRGw
Making it personal is what it’s all about!