THE BURIAL SERVICE FOR LAUNA ROZIER MOORE

ST. AUGUSTINE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, MORROW, GEORGIA THE REV. BARRY GRIFFIN, RECTOR

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head that you just can’t get rid of?  Sometimes that happens to me.  For whatever reasons, the tune plays over and over in my mind for days.

It’s been that way since LaUna died.  The song in my head is a great song from a not so great 1965 movie.  The movie was called The Sandpipers.  Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were the featured stars, and the film made them lots of money.  But the best thing to come out of The Sandpipers was the theme song.  Maybe you know it.  It’s called “The Shadow of Your Smile.”  It begins:

The shadow of your smile when you are gone

will color all my dreams and light the dawn.

A beautiful image: the shadow of your smile. 

What is it about smiles?  And why do we remember the smiles of those who have gone on before us?

I remember my mother’s smile very well and my father’s, too.  Their smiles were sweet.  I remember the smiles of so many loved ones and friends who are long gone.  I think of them often, and when I do I see them smiling.

I will remember LaUna Moore, and when I think of her I will always remember her smile.  LaUna had an unforgettable smile.  Do you agree?  It was irresistible.

The face never lies.  LaUna’s smile was transparent.  It revealed a sweet spirit and a sweet soul.  I will always remember her smile.

Edd, you will remember that smile much better than me.  We all loved LaUna, but not like you did.  We will miss her, but not like you will.  You were her husband, her soul mate, her constant and faithful companion and caregiver.  We who loved LaUna are so grateful that she had you.  What would she have done without you?  Thank you, Edd.  Thank you very much for taking care of our sister and friend.

LaUna died last Saturday evening.  Edd called me that afternoon when it was clear that the end of her life in this world was near.  And so we gathered around LaUna’s bed and offered the prayers of the church.  Together Edd, LaUna’s loved ones and LaUna’s priest commended LaUna to God. God gave her to us long ago, and last Saturday we gave her back to God.  We gave her back to God for safekeeping.  We will see LaUna again.  One day the shadows will disappear, and we will see that great smile once again.  I look forward to that day, and I’ll bet you do, too

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; she that believeth in me, though she were dead, yet shall she live, and whosoever believeth in me shall never die.”

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger.

LaUna Moore was no stranger to God.  Trust me on that.

Last Sunday this church sang How Great Thou Art.  When we sang the last verse my heart saw a kind of vision.  Some of you told me you saw it, too.

I saw LaUna going back home to be with God.  Sing with me:

When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.

Then I shall bow, in humble adoration

And then proclaim: “My God, how great thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

Then sings my soul, my savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

 Amen.

If you would like to respond to this sermon or receive future sermons by email, contact me at barryqgriffin@earthlink.net

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