At 8.45am the chapel in the Preston temple baptistry was full. Young men and women, mostly aged 12 to 16, were there from Ireland and England eagerly anticipating their participation in acts of pure faith and representation. Of them, including myself, were those who would witness Meg Robinson being baptised and confirmed for her great grandmother, my mother, Emily Violet Kirk, (Hazel) who passed from this life one year ago. In addition to that heartfelt moment my grandson Isaac would be baptised for two young men, Brothers Frank and Thomas Coultate who died in Flanders fields, 1917.
After the baptistry, at 9.30am, my niece Hannah then sat and received blessings through symbolic washing, anointing and clothing, preparatory to her receiving, on my mother’s behalf, an endowment that would prepare her for the eternal journey beyond mortality that she was continuing on.
Lastly my mother, this time represented by my daughter Jenny, knelt at the altar and laid her hands on those of Samuel, representing my mother’s father and my daughter Helen as my mother’s mother, was sealed to her parents and siblings, who had passed on, and so joining beyond the grave her eternal family.
These were sacred moments in time that will remain with me and all who were there, for ever, as some of the most precious memories we will ever have in this life.
Then, at 3pm, in a sacred room where an altar, a chandelier and reflecting mirrors, symbolising, the Son, Father and the Holy Ghost were it’s main symbolic features, members of my and my sister’s families quietly listened to one appointed who would under God’s law, unite us forever.
My sister and I were first to kneel, opposite each other at the altar, holding hands and representing our father and mother as we accepted for them the covenant and blessings of eternal marriage.
Secondly, my sister and I again knelt at the altar, this time as ourselves, with my son Samuel representing my father and my sister’s daughter Hannah representing my mother. We then, brother and sister were sealed to our parents and so in effect sealed to each other as children of the everlasting covenant, thus uniting two families for ever.
A Day in the Preston Temple 5th November 2022
St Peter's Church, Burnley