March 23, 2010; Heather
Today we attended a funeral for the mother of one of the members of our Branch. It was a very somber occasion and very different from our funerals at home. We found our way to the very large cemetery in Pécs. It has a high wall all around it and inside the wall are several buildings used for services including a Catholic church. These buildings can be rented for the service but many families do not use them because of the expense. We found the Elders and the Church members waiting in the square in side the gate. As we waited the family arrived and a group of about 200 friends gathered. We are very fond of the young man, and we were glad to see that he had so much support from friends and members of the church.
He has been a member of the Church for about a year and is very devoted to the Gospel. He is a single Dad with 2 very sweet children and he obviously loves them very much. He was very devoted to his Mother as well and took very good care of her while she was ill. She died of lung cancer at 57.
After we had all gathered, the hearse arrived and we all slowly walked behind it to the grave site. Cremation is very common here partly because there is so little space in the old cemeteries. I think this was a family plot. It had a large stone slab the the funeral people lifted just enough to place the urn inside the grave. The slab was replaced and covered with lovely flower arrangements. Then we had a short service conducted by the Branch President. I am almost certain he read from Mosiah 11. I had used that scripture in my talk and I recognized some of the words about the Savior coming to earth and suffering pain and afflictions so that he could succor all of us who suffer here in this life. Then Elders Hay, Recksiek, Mason , and Németh along with Maja and Beatrix sang Nearer My God to Thee in Hungarian. Their song was lovely, so haunting in those surroundings. They sang acapella but there were some birds that could not resist joining in.
After the service, we all filed by to give our condolences to the family and place our flowers on the grave. The members of the church stayed after most people had gone and President Sabadkai dedicated the grave just as we do at home.
We had our cameras with us but we did not take any pictures even though we we told it was alright to do so. The occasion was too solemn and no one else was taking pictures, unlike our funerals where family members stay around and visit and take pictures of each other, the flowers etc. I am glad the day was pleasant for the service and that everything went well as our friend deserved.