St Augustine’s Church
Tunbridge Wells

Requiem Mass


Warsaw, Poland 21.3.27
Tunbridge Wells 23.7.06

Friday 4th August 2006

Opening Hymn

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
let him in constancy follow the master.
There’s no discouragement
shall make him once relent
his first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
do but themselves confound: his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might,
though he with giants fight.
He will make good the right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, thou dost defend us with thy spirit,
we know we at the end shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away!
I'll fear not what men say:
I'll labour night and day to be a pilgrim.


First Reading

Lamentations 3:17-26

My soul is shut out from peace;
   I have forgotten happiness.
And now I say, ‘My strength is gone,
   that hope which came from the Lord’.
Brooding on my anguish and affliction
   is gall and wormwood.
My spirit ponders it continually
   and sinks within me.

This is what I shall tell my heart,
   and so recover hope:
the favours of the Lord are not all past,
   his kindnesses are not exhausted;
every morning they are renewed;
   great is his faithfulness.
‘My portion is the Lord’ says my soul
   ‘and so I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who trust him,
   to the soul that searches for him.
It is good to wait in silence
   for the Lord to save.



Psalm 130 (131)

Keep my soul in peace before you, O Lord.

O Lord, my heart is not proud
nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great
nor marvels beyond me.
Keep my soul in peace before you, O Lord.

Truly I have set my soul
in silence and peace.
A weaned child on its mother’s breast,
even so is my soul.
Keep my soul in peace before you, O Lord.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
both now and for ever.
Keep my soul in peace before you, O Lord.


Second Reading

1 Corinthians 15:51-57

I will tell you something that has been secret: that we are not all going to die but we shall all be changed. This will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishable, and we shall be changed as well, because our present perishable nature must put on imperishability and this mortal nature must put on immortality.

When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.



John 2:1-5

Three days later there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.

When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine’. Jesus said ‘Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’.


Bidding Prayers

Priest: God, the almighty Father, raised Christ his Son from the dead; with confidence we ask him to save all his people, living and dead:

For Thérèse, who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that she may now be admitted to the company of the saints.
Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
For our sister who ate the body of Christ, the bread of life, that she may be raised up on the last day.
Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
For all those who have fallen asleep in Christ, that they may see God face to face.
Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
For Thérèse’s family and friends, that the Lord may console them, who wept at the death of his friend Lazarus.
Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
For those who create beauty, that whatever they make may give joy to many and be a worthy offering to the Creator of all things.
Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
For us all, that faced with eternity we may forget all distractions and turn our minds to what truly is.
Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
Our Lady stood at the foot of the cross and believed it to be the end of everything. We ask her to pray for us as we say:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Priest: God our shelter and strength, you listen in love to the cry of your people. Hear the prayers we offer for our departed sister Thérèse. Cleanse her and all the faithful departed of their sins and grant them the fulness of redemption.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Offertory Hymn

Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by your name; you are mine.

When you walk through the waters, I’ll be with you.
You will never sink beneath the waves.
Do not be afraid...

When the fire is burning all around you,
you will never be consumed by the flames.
Do not be afraid...

When the fear of loneliness is looming,
then remember I am at your side.
Do not be afraid...

When you dwell in the exile of the stranger,
remember you are precious in my eyes.
Do not be afraid...

You are mine, O my child; I am your Father,
and I love you with a perfect love.
Do not be afraid...


Communion Hymn

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
in pastures green. He leadeth me
the quiet waters by.

My soul he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for his own name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill.
For thou art with me, and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.

My table thou hast furnishèd
in presence of my foes,
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me.
And in God’s house for evermore
my dwelling-place shall be.


A Personal Tribute

Halik Kochanski

My mother was born in Warsaw to a landowning family which was rapidly running out of money to manage their estates. She had an unhappy childhood after her father walked out on the family when she was seven years old.

In 1944, at the age of 17, she left home accompanied by her half-brother and after a series of adventures in Austria they ended up in Switzerland as the war ended. From there she escaped to Italy where the large Polish Army Corps (including, unknown to her, her future husband) looked after Polish civilians. To her horror the Polish authorities sent her to school. She had received no formal education since the outbreak of the war.

In 1946 the school moved to England. My mother went on to the Polish University in London where she met my father while standing in a queue in a bank. A little while later she was sitting a Chemistry exam when she was struck by a thought – If I pass this exam they will make me take another one. If, on the other hand, I fail it, I can spend my life with this handsome man I've met... She put down her pen and spent the next fifty years with my father.

Many of you will have known that my mother was extremely creative but you may not all know the extent to which she was bitten by the creativity bug so please excuse me if I list her accomplishments. They were: dressmaking; leatherwork; knitting; silversmithing; enamelwork; drawing and painting; embroidery; weaving; sculpture and mosaics. In addition she also created a beautiful garden.

As a mother she devoted herself to encouraging Martin and me in all our endeavours even if she could not always understand why we wanted to do what we were doing. She picked us up when we fell and shared in our joy when we were successful.

She loved to walk in the Swiss mountains, where the air made her feel strong and well. Last summer she went on holiday in Zermatt for the last time. In the airport she had to be pushed in a wheelchair but up in the mountains she got stronger and stronger, until one day she went too high and had to be rescued by a helicopter: an adventure she enjoyed immensely.

In January this year she had a fall and spent eight weeks in hospital. Back home again she slowly regained sufficient strength to enjoy her garden and to visit me in the house I had just bought in Tunbridge Wells. Exactly a month ago she had another fall and was back in hospital. This time she lacked the strength to fight back. It was like the chemistry exam all over again. On 23 July she put down her pen and she will spend all eternity with my father, free at last from all pain and fear.