British Actor Eddie Redmayne, who played Professor Stephen Hawkings in the Oscar-winning biopic “The Theory of Everything,” attended Hawking’s funeral on Saturday in the university town of Cambridge, England. The Academy Award-winning actor spoke at the service, which was held at University Church of St. Mary the Great, and even read a passage from the Bible.
The chosen text was taken from Ecclesiastes 3:1-11:
A Time for Everything
“1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The God-Given Task
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
“We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family,” Redmayne said of Hawking’s passing, as reported by the Independent.
The service was officiated by the Reverend Dr. Cally Hammond, Dean of Cambridge University’s Gonville and Caius College, where Prof. Hawking was a fellow for 52 years.
Tributes have been pouring in from across the globe since the news broke that Hawking had died at 76. Crowds lined the streets of Cambridge to pay their last respects to an extraordinary mind as he was laid to rest.
“On behalf of our whole family we want to express our huge gratitude to all the wonderful tributes to our father and to those who have sent us messages of condolence,” Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert and Timothy said in a statement prior to the funeral. “Our father lived and worked in Cambridge for over 50 years. He was an integral and highly recognizable part of the university and the city. For this reason, we have decided to hold his funeral in the city that he loved so much and which loved him.
While some found it odd that such an adamant atheist would want a passage of scripture read at his funeral, others were encouraged by the late professor’s openness to biblical wisdom.
“Our father’s life and work meant many things to many people, both religious and non-religious,” the statement continued. “So, the service will be both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the breadth and diversity of his life. We would like to thank Gonville and Caius College, the University of Cambridge and Trinity College, Cambridge for their assistance with our father’s funeral service.”
“Stephen was my teacher, mentor and friend,” Professor Fay Dowker said in his eulogy for Hawking, according to the BBC. “I, like many who knew and loved him, had come to think of him as immortal and our sorrow is tinged with a feeling of disbelief that he is no longer here. But his influence and legacy will live forever.”
(H/T: Premier UK)