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A Service of Remembrance for a friend in the wake of the Corona virus.

A lighting of a Candle Service for James Davidse

My great friend James died recently but because of the corona virus many of us cannot attend the cremation service. I have written this candle-lighting ceremony for those who will want to remember from a distance. It can of course be adapted to suite many who cannot be present at a friend or family funeral or remembrance service, and who would want to gather at the same time wherever they may be in the world.

In solidarity with his family who are attending his cremation
On Tuesday 24 March at 11.00 am at the Methodist Church in Pinelands, Cape Town.
and sentences

I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. St John 11:25-26

For now we see in a mirror, dimly but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known I Cor. 13:12

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him

I placed one foot on the wide plain
of death, and some grand
immensity sounded on the emptiness.
I have felt nothing ever
like the wild wonder of that moment. Rumi

James at St Georges


Loving God, you alone are the source of life
May your life-giving Spirit flow through us,
And fill us with compassion, one for another.
In our sorrow give us the calm of your peace.
Kindle our hope, and let our grief give way to joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Light a candle

Prayers of Remembrance (these prayers are to help you reflect and to bring your own thoughts and prayers)

God is love: perfect Love casts out fear. We give thanks to God for all that he has done for the world through Jesus Christ, and especially that for so many people the bitterness and fear of death have been taken away by their faith in him.

In the presence of God’s love

we remember James

We thank God for James’ life, each of us recalling what he has meant to us as Brother, Colleague, Sportsman, Friend and Companion

We think of his good qualities, the things about him which we liked so much;

His gentleness and warm humanity, his ability to listen and draw alongside students and strangers; his laughter and wonderful sense of humour; his dedication and readiness to engage the challenges of teaching and education; his love of golf, football and cricket.

His contribution to the wide world of work as an Educator of young people and his commitment to the whole community of St Georges, all staff, students and parents.

As we hold him before God we are conscious of the many stories woven around him; points at which we meet him; conscious too of the many people he knew and influenced and inspired on their journey. Stories around family, friends, (here and abroad) golf, badminton in England, growing up in Woodstock

His faithfulness in friendships and consideration for others;

We remember his concerns, his interests, his sense of humour, his love, and the special moments shared with us –(spend some moments remembering).

We remember him in all his humanity; strengths and weakness, highs and lows, his failures and achievements.

Let our forgiveness flow out to him for any wrongs he may have caused us in life.

We thank God that our life was linked with his and we commend him to God’s sure keeping.

We pray for his family that God may give them strength and courage to meet the days ahead


We commend our brother James to the mercy of God our maker and our Redeemer

Heavenly Father, by your mighty power you gave us life, and in your love you have given us new life in Christ Jesus. We entrust James to your merciful keeping: in the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord, who died and rose again to save us, and is now alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit in glory forever.



Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the mountain air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

Our Father who art in heaven

Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
In earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive our trespasses
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom,
The power and the glory
For ever and ever

O God who brought us to birth
And in whose arms we die:
In our grief and shock
Contain us;
Embrace us with your love,
Give us hope in our confusion,
And grace to let go into new life,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Final Prayer
We praise and thank you, God of the journey,
For our friend James whom we have released to you.
We entrust him into your loving care,
Knowing that you are always the faithful traveller
And companion on the Way.
We leave him now,
Be the guiding light on our Journey,
The fire of hope that never dies away
Shelter and protect Maureen, Chris and Hughie and their families from harm and anxiety
Grant us all the courage and quietness to meet the future
And grace to enter with confidence into life
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

17 comments on “A Service of Remembrance for a friend in the wake of the Corona virus.

  1. lizbardolph says:

    My dear Bob and Daphne,

    Thank you for sending that through Bob. All our lives have changed in an instant.

    Just to say I am thinking of you and am following developments in SA closely.

    I have closed my clinic and will not be undertaking any clinical work until August. At 70+ I am self-isolating.

    I suspect my Italian adventure will be postponed, ? until next year. In the meantime I will learn Italian.

    Lots of love to you both and stay safe. Liz xx


  2. petercharlesfox says:

    Beautiful Bob your creativity comes to the fore


  3. bodyat30 says:

    Thank you for giving us who are far from those we love in their dying – the words and responses with which we can celebrate and commend the life and death of a loved one who is of great significance in our own Journey. Thank you particularly for inviting into this Rite of Passage, thoughts and prayers from long traditions of others who have voiced so beautifully this eternal passage from life to death. Thank you..


  4. pennysilva45 says:

    Beautiful, Bob. Thank you.

    Love to you all – and stay safe.



  5. Thanks Bob. I shall be reflecting on this at the appropriate time.


  6. madendorff says:

    Dear Bob

    Thanks so much for all you have done over this time, especially for this service, which definitely helps to fill the gap created by the travel problem.

    All the best


  7. Gillian Foat Reynolds says:

    For me lighting a candle is a prayer. The service says it all and for James it will be perfect, private and deeply personal. The words you have written are beautiful, some I’ve heard before, others are new, offering a different insight. Thanks my friend for putting this together so simply and so sincerely. Will be using it on the day of James’ family service. Love Gill


  8. says:

    Dear Bob,
    Thank you so much for posting this memorial service for James, the famous inside right for the Sea Point Football Team in 1967-68, and the a member of the ‘The Boys’. So many fond memories, Derek


  9. Yaasien Kerbelker says:

    I never knew David well but in the last two years I met a gentle soul. Always smiling. Always ready to regale us with a story of his youth or an unforgettable experience in class. Go well David and condolences to the family.


  10. Mike Holliday says:

    Bob, lovely service and the prayer for James sums him up perfectly. We will be there with you in spirit from our sun lounge following the service. Due the corona nasty, out church will be closed. So we will follow the service and light a candle for James a ‘Diamond Geezer’ in every respect.


  11. Tony Saddington says:

    Dear Bob Thank you for allowing us all to share in this time. James was and still is a friend to so many of us. We will miss him and hold his memory in our hearts. I will be with you in spirit on Tuesday.Tony


  12. Barry Hart says:

    James was a colleague and friend at St George’s Grammar School for many years. A gentle and kind man in every respect. An excellent teacher loved by all his students. Our time and memories together with James will not fade. May he rest in eternal peace.


  13. Lester Scharnick says:

    Hamba Kahle, comrade!


  14. Trevor and Toni Ludski says:

    Dear Chris, Maureen and Hughie,and Families,
    Please accept our condolences with the passing of your loving brother, James. We have wonderful memories of him as well as of all of you. 51 Roodebloem Road will remain legendary in our hearts. And to our friend, Bob, Cummings, thank you, Bob, for your comforting words to all of us, and especially to the Davidse family.
    When we think of James we think of The Boys, Dave Kotze, Peter Philander, Trevor Ludski and James Davidse, along with Mike Adendorff and Randall Wicomb. What incredible times – and in the famous words of James’s brother, Chris, “Woodstock is second to none.”
    With much love to the Davidse family today and always.
    Trevor and Toni Ludski, Vancouver, Canada


  15. Gregory Featherstone says:

    Hi Bob lovely service thank you Love Greg and Pat x


  16. Rueschdi Gallow says:

    To say I saddened by hearing of Mr Davidse’s passing an understatement. He was my maths teacher, my soccer coach, cricket coach and badminton coach between 1990-1994… There is no unkind word one could ever utter about Mr Davidse…

    To his family my sincerest condolences.

    I will always remember your mentorship and wonderful personality. You will be sorely missed on behalf of the Class of ’94. It was a privilege to know you sir. Rest in Eternal Peace.


  17. Mark Christie says:

    Rip Mr Davidse, a great teacher whilst at Northfleet School for Boys (Colyer Road), Kent, England and fondly remembered to all those he taught.


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