More people turned out for today’s service than could fit into St. Luke’s (I’m slightly beyond the top of the frame in the second image of this sequence); the wardens were obliged, reluctantly, to turn what looked to me like a hundred or so people away. I waited outside the doors until partway into the service, when space was found to squeeze in a last handful of us. I second the headline writer: we will remember Michael with Joan, as “everything we want people to be.”

The service was tremendous: musically exquisite, liturgically profound, jammed with parishioners and former parishioners, side-by-side with friends of the Lefkows from all over. Jackie Schmitt preached a compelling sermon. We sang “Oh God, Our Help In Ages Past,” “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” “Come Down, O Love Divine,” “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” and “For All the Saints.” We greeted one another. We wept.

After sharing Communion, we prayed, “All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave, we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”

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