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A Wedding and A Funeral [Morning-Noon, 24th of May, 1676]


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It was all part of the circle of life that the Roman Catholic Church held so close. Baptism. Communion. Marriage and many more Baptisms. Finally, the Funeral. Each marked a stage in the life of a soul, till finally they were reunited with their heavenly father. Today two such ceremonies dedicated to eternal life as well as the present took place in the small Queen's chapel that was well packed with people. The chapel was decorated with white roses and blue delphynnias. Muted, yet bright.


Despite no longer having a Queen to lend them status, the Catholic community at Court was growing. The sign of the times was that you either confessed being a Catholic all your life, or you renounced it for now and ever more (as one Howard was rumoured to have been doing, though it could not be proven. He was not here now though, which the priest marked silently). The Royalist Courtiers, unlike the majority of the English populace, were increasingly proving to follow the French lead, perhaps a result of the majority of their parents having spend time abroad during the Civil War. Several in recent days had come out and pronounced that they acknowledged the saints and the sacraments, a growing number. With full pride the Duke of York had chosen to attend today with his wife, with not a mistress in sight. They sat in front of the congregation and briefly York allowed himself to imagine his future, then blushed. That was another sin to confess, that of pride. He did not wish his brother dead for he truly loved him, but how he longed for the day that he would set matters aright for the repressed Catholics at court, a gross injustice in his eyes. He had been appointed by God to set it aright. With renewed vigor, such as he always felt during Mass, York looked up at the ceiling as he prayed.


The priest called for prayer, and there was prayer. There was hymn singing. The celebration of life. With suitable tenderness, in a simple but meaning full ceremony in front of the entire chapel, Alexandra Rosewyck married Francis Neuville. The bride looked young and blushing, resplendid in her silver dress with seed pearls and ancient gold threads as the embroidery but overall rather elegant despite the simplicity. A flower wreath rested on her red curls. Neuville, looking damn fine in blue sapphire velvet, had brought the Baron Radcliff as his best man. During the ceremony Radcliff tried to capture Davina's eyes, but quickly averted them as he noticed Braintree's scowl.


After the couple had said "I do", rings and pinmoney exchanged, they faded back into the congregation and time was made for another duty. A service was said for the dead, that final phase to eternal life. The body would be interred at a Catholic graveyard nearby, in fact the same one were Caleb O'Roarke rested his dark soul, and many others of the Irish community so that Boyle had arrange for a family tomb there.


Before today, cards and flowers had started to fill the house of Boyle, as well as some food and drink to serve at the traditional Catholic Wake, where George and Peter Boyle had welcomed guests. There were pale cream roses with the merest hint of pink on their tips and many bouquets of Lilies. There were yellow roses, lilies and lavender. Such a sea of flowers, both at the graveside and in the Church.


Some parishioners were seen afterwards offering condolences. Among them Lady Davina, Lady Rebecca, Lord Tredegar, Lady Diana and the Baroness Nebitt. Most did not attend to the funeral at the grave site, a much smaller affair of true Catholics with the interring in the tomb and the last prayers said. Some of the graves nearby had been recently attended to. The great absentee was of course the Earl's sister.


OOC: George has been informed of all the private attentions you have sent me, but I decided a summary was necessary. Thank you all for your kindness! Please be aware that there is a reception of Alexandra's wedding for all well wishers that shall be started soon, noon 24th.

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