Thursday 13/03/2014.
At 12.30.

At St Edward Brotherhood Orthodox Church
Cyprians Ave, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey GU24 0BL.

A satnav should get you there, but I will check next week. There is a railway station for Brookwood, but if you have not been before you need a map of some kind, or be able to understand advice. The church is a good way from the station, and across a main road.

I will be organising things at Crawley, and have already made sure that there will be some seats available in a car. There will not, however, be a cortege, because Martha’s body will be arriving from the chapel of rest at Woking. So while there may be a group of cars travelling together, there will not be a hearse to follow.

Following the Orthodox tradition my mother’s body will be on view during the early part of the service, although I need to check details with St. Edward’s.

It will be a full Byzantine rite, and will probably last around 2 hours. I have been to a number of traditional Orthodox funerals, and nobody talked or left. The later is not, however, compulsory. The Orthodox tradition allows you to come and go, so you can leave for a smoke, rest, or a simple sit down.

This also means there is no issue with arriving ‘late’, as long as you come in quietly.

The other thing to note is that the Orthodox generally do not sit down in church, unless they are ‘infirm’. I told mother off many times for refusing to sit down (I’m not old; I’m only 87!).

If you are older or weaker than me, and you need to sit down, sit down for Heaven’s sake, Heaven will already have enough to cope with from Brookwood.

Women generally cover their heads at St. Edward’s.

After the service, and the gathering that follows, I will be going back to Crawley. You are welcome to join me.