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Esme Mary Gabriel
Dowager Countess of Cromer, CVO
1922 - 2011
On Wednesday 28th September 2011 at 11:30am a service of thanksgiving for the life of Esme Mary Gabriel, Dowager Countess of Cromer, CVO was held at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street.
The Venerable David Meara delivered the Bidding:
We have come to St Bride's today to remember before God our dear sister in Christ Esme Mary Gabriel, to give thanks for her life, to commend her to God our merciful redeemer; and to comfort one another in our sadness.
We remember a wonderfully creative individual, a painter, writer and conversationalist, elegant and stylish, who involved herself wholeheartedly in the newspaper world, in charitable work, and who was proud of her service to the Royal Family: proud too, of her own family, her children, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. We rejoice in our memories of her as we commend her to the love of our heavenly Father.
In Thy mercy, O Lord, turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life, and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Honourable Esmond Harmsworth
The Earl of Cromer read The First Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 15, v. 50-58
50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
The Honourable Vivian Baring read the Gospel of St John 14, v. 1-6
1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Ashley Gray read from Journal Of A Soul, Death Is The Future For Everyone by Pope John XXIII
Death is the future for everyone,
It is the Last Post of this life and the Reveille of the next.
Everywhere men fear death.
It is the end of our present life, it is the parting from loved ones;
it is setting out into the unknown.
We overcome death by accepting it as the will of a loving God, by fi nding Him in it.
Death, like birth, is only a transformation, another birth.
When we die we shall change our state, that is all.
And in faith in God, it is as easy and natural as going to sleep here and waking up there.
The choir & organist of St Bride's Choir performed the following anthems and songs:
God Be In My Head - Walford Davies
Lux Aurumque - Eric Whitacre
Laudate Dominum - Mozart
Lux Aeterna from Requiem - Rutter
The Lord Bless You And Keep You - Rutter
Abide With Me
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Morning Has Broken