Mourners gathered today at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Mayfair, London, for the funeral service of Vera Rich, who peacefully passed away in her sleep on 20 December 2009.

The Parastas (Eastern Rite Memorial Service) was led by Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, who concelebrated with priests of the Belarusian and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churches and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Great Britain.  Sermons were delivered by Bishop Lonchyna and Mitred Archpriest Alexander Nadson.  The Prayer of St Francis, “Make me a Channel of Your Peace” and a second hymn, “Lord of All Life”, written by Vera Rich, were also sung during the service.

A funeral wake celebrating Vera’s life and work followed at the AUGB’s London Branch in Holland Park.  Extracts of her poems, translations and poems about her were read out.  Much to the delight of everyone an audio recording of Vera recently reciting one of her own humorous poems was also played.  Different speakers recalled their own highly interesting and often very amusing experiences of working with Vera...

She was, quite simply put, an exceptional and unique lady that touched the hearts of so many many people.  Listening to everything that was said about her and the lovely messages received from friends worldwide, it is difficult to understand how she managed to fit everything in with so many different people and groups.  An eccentric (at times)?  Yes!  A genius?  Definitely!  A great loss for Ukrainians?  Absolutely!  She was, after all, without doubt the most accomplished translator of (among others) Shevchenko’s works (but more about that another time).

Over the coming days we will endeavour to post some of the material read out during today’s funeral wake.  So please do revisit this particular news item again in the near future.

Vera Rich was very much loved and will be truly missed in so many respects.  Life will unquestionably never ever be the same without her!

God rest her soul!


Ukrayinska Dumka


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