Category Archives: Funeral

Embracing the real, not “what I think should be real”

As a funeral director,  I think one of the wisest passages concerning grief and celebration is straight from the (Episcopal) Book of Common Prayer: Continue reading

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St. Patrick

On this day set aside in honor of St. Patrick , I am bringing forward this post of  my favorite hymn. it is a translation of

 St. Patrick’s Breastplate

It is one I definitely want sung at my funeral. My challenge (and it is a good exercise for anyone) is to examine and amend  my life; and so live that my choice makes sense to that small band who would come to my funeral.  I don’t want people saying “Say what! why did he pick THAT?”  Continue reading

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Meditation at a Funeral

As I have mentioned before, as a funeral director, I attend a lot of funerals, and probably spend  more time than most people thinking about death. For the past few weeks, I’ve had a theme in mind that seems of some use, and yesterday, I finally said it at the conclusion of a service for an elderly lady. There were many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren gathered, and many stories from their early years. This is what I had to say.

As I’ve listened to the stories from your years with your mother, your grandmother, and the great grandmother of these little ones, I’ve been thinking of how God has been preparing us for this day since we were just babies. From the first time we played “Peek-a-boo” with our mother, we learned that when we could not see her face, she was still there. You can still see it in the face of your children, the anxiety when your face is hidden, and the delight when you reappear. We learn that what we see does not define the whole of reality, that there is more to reality than what we see.

And then we have our first sleepover away from home. That can be scary, but we learn that even though we are away from home, we still have a home. Separation does not mean forever.

As we grow, we continue these lessons, through going to camp, going away to school, even leaving home and starting our adult lives. We learn them as we teach them to our own children as we enjoy playing “peek-a-boo” … 

God has been teaching us these lessons all our lives. And now as we say goodbye to (Mrs. Jones), He reminds us of what He has taught, of what we have learned: That when I can’t see someone, it doesn’t mean that they are gone; there is more to reality than what we see; and that separation does not mean forever.

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Sweethearts in Heaven

As a funeral director, I hear many interesting things at funerals! A while back I heard a song that got me thinking. A folk singer sang a song something along the lines of “I don’t know if there are sweethearts in heaven, but if there are, I want you for mine.” It was sung on behalf of the decedent as a proclamation of his enduring love for his widow. It was very touching, and very sweet. Even while I liked the song, though, I was bothered a bit Continue reading

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