Catafalque

Saint Clement’s Church Philadelphia, a great hallmark of Anglo-Catholicism and a standard in the fight for continuing traditional worship and ministry to the poor and needy, died last Sunday at the age of 153.

Saint Clement’s died at her center city home in Philadelphia of complications from a disease contracted from a foreign body. She fought this disease for over a year, said a son who was with her during her demise. Many of her children had left during her illness and she had been sick for “quite a while,” he said. “I just couldn’t continue watching her die like that,” said a daughter distraught over having to leave her behind.

Saint Clement’s was born in 1859 in the city of Philadelphia at the same place where she resided her entire life. Her early life was wrought with disagreements between her parents, sometimes ending up in a court of law. But through those arguments, she grew into adulthood and began to stand on her own. As she grew strong in her new-found traditional faith and worship, the battles over her education became more pronounced. According to records, her guardians fought hard for her increased education, railing against some of her siblings who preferred she remain as she was. Yet through it all, her parents prevailed, and she grew into an adult with promise for her future in her faith and witness within the Anglo-Catholic movement. She had become the adult she was destined to be.

In the 1970’s, however, her new father brought turmoil to her life. She underwent changes that lessened her determination to excell in her faith, and even endured physical changes forced upon her she did not desire. Yet through the years, her siblings who cared about her more than her father fought and won and returned her to the education and continued to build on what went before from her earlier parents’ work.

As she continued to heal and grow through the years, the number of her brothers and sisters increased through adoption. She again began to shine in the tradition of Anglo-Catholicism through the next fathers who would come along and care for her with great care. Though her number of siblings were not great, she was happy. Any further arguments in her life from parents and siblings were for the increase of her faith, which she never fought, but enjoyed; until she met her final father.

Though her latest father and guardian loved her, and though her guardian stood firm for her, her father became more interested in his paycheck and no longer cared for her education and edification. When her guardian moved away out of necessity, leaving her only in the care of her father, her health turned for the worse. She was infected by a foreign body which ravaged her through and through. A new guardian was brought in to help, but the infection was too great at this point, and slowly her children moved away from fear of seeing her death. For the past year, she languished on life support. Slowly, over the past year, each of her children left her home because they were afraid of her death, though a few of her loving siblings held on, trying to save her.

This past Sunday, she “gave up the ghost.”

Services will be held nowhere. Prayers will be said by many. If you wish to sign the guest book, please do so in the comments.

Advertisements