NEW YORK (AP) — Joan Didion's precision with words extended even to ones she would never live to hear, such as those used during a small, private service this spring at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

“She left very clear directions about what she wanted to happen at that service,” the Very Rev. Patrick Malloy said Wednesday night, at the start of a memorial tribute at the Cathedral. “She wanted it to be very brief and she specified the texts she wanted us to use, all from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, which is what you'd expect from an Episcopalian who wrote a book called ‘A Book of Common Prayer.’"

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