We had a special service at St. Luke’s today. Instead of the usual Sunday morning liturgy, we used Burial Rite 2 to celebrate the life of Anthony Grino, a leader of Bibak, the Igarot Filipino cultural organization, and the patriarch of that wonderful congregation. The junior warden and members of Anthony’s family gave eulogies. Then Fr. Jeff Adiego (St. Matthew’s) told about his giving last rites to Anthony. Fr. Jeff described how Anthony was completely unresponsive, unable to speak or move. But after the rest of the rite had been performed, Fr. Jeff knelt down to where Anthony could see him without lifting his head, then read the Prologue to John’s Gospel and said, “Anthony do you believe what I just read?” Anthony responded with a strong “I do” – and thereafter did not speak again.
After the service we went downstairs for a reception. At my previous visits, we have had drumming and Filipino folk dancing. But this was different. There was a music group of four members of the congregation. The lead singer played guitar with a lot of body movement. He wore a frock length sports coat. Another singer had a Mandalay Bay jacket. The first song was a gospel classic:
O Lord you know I have no friend like you.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
The second song was “Why Me Lord?” Remember Kris Krisofferson.
Lord help me Jesus I’ve wasted it
So help me Jesus I know what I am
Now that I know that I’ve needed you so
Help me Jesus my soul’s in your hand.
That’s my religion and I am grateful to these good Christians for holding it up for me to see and hear. I feel so blessed by our people.