I received an email today indicating that a dreaded moment had come: the Reverend Peter Southwell-Sander, member and adjunct staff of Old South Church and husband of senior minister Nancy Taylor, passed away Wednesday night. I didn’t get a chance to know Peter well, but I mourn his loss, and what I do know about him makes the loss the more painful: Anglican minister, author of books on Puccini and Verdi (!), satirist (!!), baptizer of one of Mick Jagger’s children (??!?!?), and to the end of his life a tireless proponent for the inclusive welcoming nature of God’s love—and the need to translate that into this world for the poor and marginalized all around us.
Nancy and Peter were a model of grace in the face of a long struggle. I mentioned their long dance together earlier in the week; now I believe he dances free of pain in a better place, and I hope that Nancy has some peace after their long shared struggle together.
Alleluia. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Remember me O lord, when you come into your kingdom.
Give rest O Lord to your [servant], who has fallen asleep.
The choir of saints have found the well-spring of life, and door of paradise.
Life: a shadow and a dream.
Weeping at the grave creates the song:
Alleluia. Come, enjoy rewards and crowns I have prepared for you.