Story: In remembrance of the Assembly’s deceased brother Sir Knights, the membership and surviving family members of Pope John Paul II Assembly 2900 conducted a commemoration ceremony. Before partaking in a traditional Thanksgiving meal, Assembly’s Spiritual Director, Deacon S. K. Hector Raymond in his invocation reminded all of the gathering purpose for and the blessings for which we can be thankful.
After dinner the widows and families of the deceased knights were ceremonially escorted by Sir Knights in formal social attire led by a regalia honor guard to the ceremony area. To a choral hymn reminding all of the importance to remember, the Ladies of the deceased Sir Knights and families were seated in the front row. With standing Sir Knights surrounding the rear and sides of the room and their Ladies seated behind the widows, this separation of Ladies from their Sir Knights would later be a pointed visual reminder that before too long the Sir Knights would be separated from their ladies and the Ladies from their Sir Knights.
After the entrance of the presenters and the color guard a tribute of respect was paid to the deceased with a focused reminder of the meaning of a friend, the loss when separated by death and the debt owed to the departed. To the orchestral version of “Taps” each deceased Sir Knight’s name was announced by Navigator Stephen Dodaro and accompanied by a slow formal salute by the color guard and Master of Ceremony. From a front table with a chapeau and neatly folded cape on which were arranged roses, one rose was presented to each deceased family representative. For those not having family present the rose was placed at the base of a vertical partially shrouded vertical ceremonial sword. To a barely audible bag pipe version of Amazing Grace the meaning of each line of the Our Father was explained followed by a group recitation focusing on the meaning. This signified how whenever and wherever Knights meet this prayer is faithfully recited. After closing prayers from Deacon S.K. Hector Raymond and closing remarks from the master of ceremony the color guard to the coral version of Onward Christian Soldiers led the attendees to the dining area. There social time and desert was enjoyed at the end of a meaningful and memorable evening.