ERMA THE GREETER IS GREETED BY THE GROUND.
ERICKSON: Clearly no one cared to gather, did they?
WINNIFRED: I’m sorry Father, I told everyone at the store…
ERICKSON: Don’t trouble yourself, Winnifred. You’re here and that is all that matters.
WINNIFRED: But this is disgraceful. Don’t you find this disgraceful?
ERICKSON: A little, yes. But at the end of the day, we are only responsible for doing our part.
WINNIFRED: Then what’s my part Father? I have a feeling I overstepped my bounds with this mess.
ERICKSON: Did you care about Erma?
WINNIFRED: Yes, of course! That’s why this is so disappointing. I don’t even know why we’re even putting her ashes in the ground.
ERICKSON: Is this not what she wanted? I thought you were following her wishes.
WINNIFRED: Did you have any conversations with her on Sundays? After mass?
ERICKSON: I’m certain we spoke plenty of times--
WINNIFRED: --Because she was there every sunday.
ERICKSON: And as I mentioned to you, we spoke plenty. I understand what you’re asking and I will tell you: it is unfounded remorse, what you are feeling.
WINNIFRED: Oh Father, I wish we could wrap this feeling in a bow and call it remorse.
ERICKSON: I apologize for offering my support.
WINNIFRED: Please don’t. You’re in the right to correct me. This is not my affair. I am only here to pay my respects. Even if I am the only one, I should not be glorified for taking the time to show up. Though I must say, I appreciate you taking the time to show up on short notice.
ERICKSON: I am merely a servant, Winnifred. We are on the same boat, so there will be no glorifying me either.
WINNIFRED: This is awful, can we place the urn in the ground already?
ERICKSON: I will follow your lead.
WINNIFRED: Coming from a priest, I find that horribly distasteful.
ERICKSON: Winnifred to be honest, you have been distasteful all afternoon.
WINNIFRED: Excuse me?
The priest takes the urn from the cremation table and puts it in the ground.
WINNIFRED (CONT’D): Father Erickson, what are you doing?!
ERICKSON: May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ bless and console us and gently wipe every tear from our eyes: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
He starts to leave.
WINNIFRED: Father! Father Erickson don’t you leave, do you hear?!
ERICKSON: Go home, Winnifred. She won’t hold it against you.
Winnifred lingers, even after he’s nowhere to be seen.