A memorial service for Harry Brown was held in good order at Hebron House on May 30, 1999. He passed away on May 12. Approximately 45 to 50 persons attended.
John Buck, clerk of the Meeting, offered the following introductory remarks:
Good afternoon. I am John Buck, clerk of the Patapsco Friends Meeting. I welcome you to this Meeting for Worship in celebration of the life of Harry Brown. Harry participated in the life of our Meeting for the past two and a half years. His family, therefore, asked that this Memorial Service be conducted in the manner of Friends. Because Friends, or Quakers, as we are sometimes called, believe that there is that of God in each person, in this Meeting for Worship you are a minister to all the others attending. We all give and receive ministry from each other.
As in all Meetings for Worship, we will sit together in silence, and anyone who wishes to speak may do so. Although in our regular Sunday worship, no theme is predetermined prior to the Meeting; in a memorial service or worship celebration such as this one, we are focusing on the person and life of Harry Brown. We will first settle into the silence and then, if you feel moved to do so, you may rise to speak, or may speak, sitting down. You may, for example, speak about Harry, as you knew him, especially in appreciation of his life. Or, you might choose to speak more generally about loss or anotss or another topic that seems relevant to this particular gathering. After each person’s contribution, there should be some silence. Silence gives each of us time to assimilate what has been said, and helps us speak from a deeper, more spiritual part of ourselves than we may be able to access in regular conversation. Generally, individuals do not speak more than once in a Meeting for Worship, nor do they agree or disagree with others, as they might in conversation. Instead, they tend to speak out of a prayerful waiting.
As clerk, I will conclude the Meeting by shaking hands with a person sitting near me. Then, by custom, everyone will shake hands with persons sitting near them and the Meeting is over.
At the rise of Meeting, we invite you to have refreshments in the room next door and to enjoy some of the pictures that the family has put together.