Funeral services for William and Charmaine Sharp
On Oct. 26, William and Charmaine Sharp were honored with a vigil service at the Mission San Rafael Catholic church near Huntington. At a vigil service the rosary is prayed and speakers also shared memories of the Sharp's and their love for hunting and the outdoors.
On Oct. 27 at 10 a.m. a funeral mass was held at the Mission. The Priest for the funeral mass was Bill Wheaton from the Catholic Church in Moab. The Priest assigned to Notre Dame Parish which includes the San Rafael Mission was out of town visiting relatives in Ohio, so Rev. Wheaton came to officiate at the services for the Sharp family.
He said he was honored to be able to conduct the services and expressed his appreciation for the loving Sharp family and his association with them as they readied for the services.
Rev. Wheaton explained the Catholic Funeral Mass for those not of the Catholic faith and described what would take place. He blessed the caskets with Holy Water and the Sharp family members placed a ceremonial cloth upon the caskets and a cross. The funeral mass proceeded and after the scripture readings, Rev. Wheaton spoke to the large congregation. He referred to a book he had read which has become a favorite of his, it's called "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."
"At a time like this there are many questions. Our faith will help us cope. We might ask why did this bad thing have to happen to such good people. What kind of God would take them from their children. There are many questions," said Wheaton.
Rev. Wheaton related the story of Jesus and Lazarus and how after Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days, Jesus came and raised him from the dead. Martha was angry with Jesus for not coming sooner, when he could have saved Lazarus, but he had been dead for four days and Martha didn't hold any hope that Jesus could bring him back to life. "Lord," she said, "If thou had been here my brother wouldn't have died."
Rev. Wheaton said, "Where was God, the other day? No matter how much we search we are not going to find those answers. The reason bad things happen to good people is that we are mortal. Sometimes accidents happen, sickness happens. Sometimes people make bad choices. God is not punishing us. Bad things happen because of the human condition.
"I think what Jesus said and does is really important. Jesus said to Martha, 'I am the resurrection and the light. He who believes in me shall never die.'
"Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the light, then Will and Charmaine are not dead, they continue to live in a place of pure love. Their life has changed, but it has not ended. They are present here and they are with each of you who knew and loved them. Their bodies have been broken, but they will be raised up again and they will be perfect. The time will come when all will be raised and we will be as one big family together. Now, is the time to weep and grieve. But, Will and Charmaine are here in our warm memories of them. There is comfort in their presence. Look for their Spirit in everything. It's in their children. It's in everything that's beautiful. Will and Charmaine found happiness in nature, in hunting and fishing," said Rev. Wheaton.
Rev. Wheaton ended his remarks with a poem, which said, "Do not stand on my grave and weep, for I am not there. I am in the wind that blows, the soft rain, the stars that shine. Do not stand at my grave and forever cry, because I am not there, I did not die."
After the conclusion of the funeral mass, the pall bearers brought the caskets to the waiting cars where they were transported to the Castle Dale cemetery for burial. Rev. Wheaton dedicated the grave site. A cross was presented to each of the Sharp children.
William was a member of the United Mine Workers of America and Mike Durrant from the UMWA did a presentation for a brother in mining who has passed away. Afterwards each of the coal miners present placed a piece of evergreen upon the casket of William Sharp.
The services concluded at the cemetery and those present were invited back to a luncheon at the Mission San Rafael prepared by the ladies of the church.
The pall bearers for William were: Paul Sharp, John Sharp, Marshall Rollins, Jared Sharp, Tony Sharp and John Abney. For Charmaine: Darren Sharp, Jeramie Young, Bobby Gabrys, Brad Sharp, Jefferson Manning and Joel Sharp.
The Prayer of St. Francis was written on the program: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love, where their is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O Lord, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."