Faithful of All Saints,
It is with broken hearts and strong faith that we share the news of the death of our beloved Herbert "Bert" Draesel, Jr. (1940-2023) on Saturday, January 14.
Bert and Ada have been at the very heart of this family of faith for decades. They were among the very first to embrace me with a loving welcome upon my arrival to All Saints. It was my distinct privilege to serve with Bert when I could convince him to leave Ada's side in the pew and join me at the altar.
While I knew some of the vast expanse of his priestly and musical ministry, it was just recently that I learned he penned The Rejoice Mass, which he wrote while in seminary in 1964, and which my father introduced for use in our congregation when I was growing up.
Bert's lively expression of abiding faith has been a companion to me while I have been here, and I am so thankful to learn that his music has been ringing in my heart all of my life. Along with countless others, I can sing most of The Rejoice Mass from memory because it so captured my heart both musically and spiritually that, like its composer and his wife, it immediately rooted itself within my soul.
Bert's life found its meaning in faithful and joyful service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He now enriches the heavenly host as he enriched all of us. Tributes, thanksgivings, personal stories, and special remembrances are pouring out of hearts around the Episcopal Church and beyond because Bert's sphere of ministry crossed all the crowded ways of life.
The current rector of Holy Trinity Church (NYC), of which Bert was Rector Emeritus, shared a tribute for that congregation. I invite you to read the Rev. John Beddingfield's reflection to gain a fuller understanding of the rich ministry of our friend, this faithful child of God and inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven. Well done good and faithful servant. We love you ... and we'll surround Ada and Rosie in faithfulness and love.
A Requiem Holy Eucharist and Celebration of Life for Bert was held on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in New York City. To view a recording of the service, click here.
Bert will be interred in the Memorial Garden of All Saints. Preliminary plans are being for a Memorial Service here in late Spring or early Summer. We will keep the parish informed.