Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Beautiful Celebration

Below is the full program from the Celebration of Life for Barbara Orndorff:

Sunday, February 18, 2006 ~ Unity Church of the Morongo Basin ~ Yucca Valley, California 

~ Reverend Midge Cole Anthony officiating


  • "Chariots of Fire" - Piano performance by Fernando Buendia Laysa, Jr.

  • Welcome - Reverend Midge Cole Anthony

    We begin this celebration of life for our friend and loved one, Barbara, with this poem by an unknown poet.
  • Poem by unknown poet - Reverend Midge Cole Anthony
    Yield not to the illusion
    Of this thing called death;
    But rejoice for my release
    From my body, my breath.

    No longer confined
    By my earthly form;
    Free is my Spirit
    To now be reborn.

    A part of the Universe
    I’m going to be
    You’ll know me in the sunset,
    The forest, the sea.

    Removed from my shell
    Like the hand from a glove;
    Free is my Spirit
    To feel only love.

    I’m closer to you now
    In this state of grace;
    Yet, I needn’t reach far
    To touch God’s face.

    I’ll be with you always;
    I’ll never be gone;
    Yesterday, I was the sunset
    Today, I AM the dawn!

  • Prayer - Reverend Midge Cole Anthony

    Our Heavenly Father, in you we live, move and have our being. You who are eternal life.

    Quicken in us our awareness of your Holy Spirit, that spirit of love which strengthens and comforts every heart,
    that spirit of wisdom which fills each mind with understanding, that spirit of life, perfect and eternal,
    which transcends any experience -- even death, and makes us all one in you.

    This we pray in the nature of him who said, “Lo, I am with you always..” AMEN

  • ‘Life is Eternal’ - Reverend Midge Cole Anthony
    Barbara’s spirituality was rich and multifaceted. It drew on several respected traditions, including Judaism, the Rosicrucian Order, the New Thought movement, and others.

    One of the world’s great teachers was a man called Jesus the Christ…and his words have been preserved and have come down to us through the centuries.

    One of the things he spoke about with great passion was life…He said many things about life:

    He said, “before Abraham was, I am.” Meaning that life, individual life, is eternal; It did not start here on earth -- nor does it end here -- on earth.

    He said, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him.” God IS life and all that God creates is life as well. Life is eternal.

    He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” Telling us that life expresses itself on more planes than just one.

    Twice he instructed mankind, “Do not worry for your life.” Telling us that life is eternal, it cannot be lost.

    And on the cross, he said to the thief, “This day thou shalt be with me in paradise.” THIS DAY, is what he said, there is NO interruption in life.

    We may move from one expression to another, but there is no time when we are not in life.

    That’s what the poem that I read a few moments ago is all about. “Yield not to the illusion of this thing called death. But rejoice in my release.”

    We are here this morning to celebrate the life of Barbara.

    We are here to rejoice in her release. She is no longer confined by her earthly form. Our purpose today is to recognize the truth of who Barbara was while she inhabited this place and to wish her God speed as she takes her next step in life’s continuing adventure.


    • Now we will hear from Barbara’s loved-ones who have some happy memories to share during this Celebration of her Life. First we’ll hear from Barbara‘s cousin, Mr. Orville Hunter, followed by her grandson Steven Shultz, followed by any other guests who wish to share their memories of Barbara. Orville…
    • Eulogy - Orville Hunter, cousin of Barbara Orndorff (see below)

    • A Poetic Remembrance - Steven Shultz, grandson of Barbara Orndorff (see below)

    • [Steve plays recording of Grandma reciting her poem, “Smells” from her book of children’s poems published in 1950 called "Smarty Pants" (see below)]

    • Reflections - Others are invited to share their memories of Barbara Orndorff
    • [Norma Shultz, wife of Barbara's grandson Charlie, shares a wonderful remembrance of Barbara, ending by repeating the sacred Hebrew word "Shalom" three times.]

    3. IN A PERFECT PLACE - Reverend Midge Cole Anthony

    • The promises that are made by religion and the evidence of modern research, indicate not only that life is eternal, but also that it maintains its individual identity, meaning its personality and its memories, the lessons it learned while it inhabited this place. Already, the eternal spirit which is Barbara has stepped across the threshold of THIS mansion and has entered the next.

      Know with me now that in this next mansion a table is prepared for Barbara.
      Her head is anointed with oil, her cup runs over and only goodness and mercy attend.
      Barbara dwells in the house of the Lord, forever.

      As our hearts are lifted, and we know the truth about Barbara, let us know that she is speaking to us even now, and saying---

    • “Do not stand at my grave and weep
      I am not there, I do not sleep.

      I am a thousand winds that blow,
      I am a diamond’s glint on snow,
      I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
      I am the gentle autumn rain.

      And when you wake in the morning hush,
      I am the soft, uplifting rush
      Of quiet birds in circling flight,
      I am the soft starlight at night.

      Do not stand at my grave and cry,
      I am not there, I did not die.
      Life is eternal.
    4. ‘GRANDMA’S GIFT’ - special video presentation

    5. CLOSING PRAYER - Reverend Midge Cole Anthony


      In the eternal presence of God we speak to the Soul of our loved one, Barbara.

      We say, God bless you and love you.
      We no longer bind you in our thought to this place or to this earthly garment.

      We behold you in your true being, full of grace and truth, already enjoying your next grand adventure in this eternal thing called life.”


      Thank you all so much for being here. This concludes our service. Please enjoy some refreshments in the back. Barbara loved good, wholesome food. And she will undoubtedly enjoy seeing her loved-ones partake of some at this celebration of her life. Thank you for being a part of it.

      Conclusion of Program