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"Paul’s extensive knowledge of Spanish has been an invaluable asset to me recently. When my husband passed away suddenly, Paul made himself available at all times to guide me through the difficult process of Spanish protocol. I could not have wished for a more helpful and sensitive friend during this tragic time.”
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Two weddings and a funeral ... PDF
Monday, 08 November 2010 20:00

... and two baptisms!


As I look back over the last four months I realise that I’ve been to two weddings, a funeral and two baptisms. These experiences weren’t as funny/sad as Mike Newell’s film of a similar name, but they were very interesting experiences, nonetheless.

The two weddings were first. They took place within two days of each other at the end of July in South Germany – they were our own civil wedding in the Standesamt in Talheim followed by our church ceremony in Maulbronn Abbey.

The funeral took place in September in Spain when Ana, the 82-year-old mother of Pepe, a Spanish chap from our village, died suddenly after being rushed to hospital. I went to the mass in the Roman Catholic village church and could hardly get in the door for mourners.  There must have been a good 200 inside and at least another 300 milling around outside – half the population of the village had turned out!

After the priest held the funeral mass and communion, we all went outside. Then, as the bereaved family lined up by the hearse, we all trooped past to pay our respects. Then the funeral procession walked the kilometre to the cemetery for the interment in the niche.

The first baptism was also in Germany in early October, when my newly acquired two-year-old step-grand-daughter, Madita, 'got her head wetted' in the local Protestant church.  The second was yesterday at the Iglesia Evangélica in Ronda, the local Protestant church, when Francisco, 20, was baptised as a symbol of his new-found Christian faith.

Five different events, four in different churches in two different countries in the space of four months. All very enjoyable, including the funeral, I have to say, which was an appropriately joyous celebration of Ana’s life.

©  Paul Whitelock


Related articles:

In Memoriam

Wedding Album

Wedding bells at 60!

Wedding in Ronda 2006

Tags: Mike Newell, Four Weddings and a Funeral, civil wedding, Standesamt, Talheim, church ceremony, Maulbronn Abbey, wedding, funeral, baptism, Iglesia Evangélica, Ronda, paul whitelock,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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