The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In Memoriam: The Rev. Bruce W. Forbes

From St Bartholomew's Church:
Dear St. Bart's Family,

Our friend and colleague the Rev. Bruce Forbes died peacefully at home early this morning following a brief illness. He was 94.

A service is planned for Bruce at St. Bart's in September, on a date to be decided, when everyone will be back from summer travels and can attend.

Bruce served at St. Bart's over 50 years. He was a wonderful priest and friend to many in several generations. He will be deeply missed.

Please hold Bruce in your prayers at this holy and tender time.

May his spirit rest in peace and rise in glory.
So, two other things about Bruce.

First, after my ordination, I inherited one of his jobs--leading the choir in prayer before the 11:00 service. Bruce would come into the chapel where the lay ministers and choir would gather, and call them to attention with a roar of "CHOIR!" Then he would lead a short prayer, which he made sure I had just so when I took over. When I told him I included the bellow, he smiled. "Good," he said.

Second, Bruce played the curmudgeon to perfection--sarcastic, quick with a quip--but was also willing to explain his theological preferences with a gentle seriousness (I once asked him why he disliked incense, and received an erudite critique of Catholic theology of its use that was quite interesting.) He could be quite funny (for years, he presided over the 10:30 am chaos in the vesting room with a sort of Alan MacNaughtan comic weary resignation), but was genuinely kind.

Finally, he was a Trollope fan. I have in my collection several volumes from his library of the old World's Classics hardcover editions that were once his. I'm glad of that; it will remind me of him when I revisit them.

And when I bellow at the choir.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

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