Category : Death / Burial / Funerals

(WSJ) Gun Death Rate Nears Three-Decade High, With Men at Most Risk

The rate of gun deaths in the U.S. reached a 28-year high in 2021 after sharp increases in homicides of Black men and suicides among white men, an analysis of federal data showed.

A record 48,953 deaths in the U.S., or about 15 fatalities per 100,000 people, were caused by guns last year, said the analysis published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Network Open. Gun deaths declined in the 1990s, but have been rising steadily over the past decade and skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic, said researchers who conducted the analysis.

Gun-related deaths of women and children have risen, the analysis said, but men remain far more likely to die from guns.

“The disparities are so marked,” said Chris Rees, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Rees and his colleagues analyzed U.S. firearm fatality rates from 1990 to 2021 using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. have died from guns since 1990, the analysis showed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Men, Violence

(NYT) Christine McVie, Hitmaker for Fleetwood Mac, Is Dead at 79

Christine McVie, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist who became the biggest hitmaker for Fleetwood Mac, one of music’s most popular bands, died on Wednesday. She was 79.

Her family announced her death on Facebook. The statement said she died at a hospital but did not specify its location or give the cause of death. In June, Ms. McVie told Rolling Stone that she was in “quite bad health” and that she had endured debilitating problems with her back.

Ms. McVie’s commercial potency, which hit a high point in the 1970s and ’80s, was on full display on Fleetwood Mac’s “Greatest Hits” anthology, released in 1988, which sold more than eight million copies: She either wrote or co-wrote half of its 16 tracks. Her tally doubled that of the next most prolific member of the band’s trio of singer-songwriters, Stevie Nicks. (The third, Lindsey Buckingham, scored three major Billboard chart-makers on that collection.)

The most popular songs Ms. McVie wrote favored bouncing beats and lively melodies, numbers like “Say You Love Me” (which grazed Billboard’s Top 10), “You Make Lovin’ Fun” (which just broke it), “Hold Me” (No. 4) and “Don’t Stop” (her top smash, which crested at No. 3). But she could also connect with elegant ballads, like “Over My Head” (No. 20) and “Little Lies” (which cracked the publication’s Top Five in 1987).

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Music

([London] Times) Queen Elizabeth II biography reveals stoic monarch in final days

According to the Right Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, she was in “fantastic form” on the weekend before she died.

He told Brandreth that she was “so alive and engaging”, and how they spoke about her childhood, her horses, church affairs and her sadness over the war in Ukraine. “Her faith was everything to her. She told me she had no regrets,” he said.

Brandreth wrote: “Her Majesty always knew that her remaining time was limited. She accepted this with all the grace you’d expect.” The biographer claimed he “heard that the Queen had a form of myeloma — bone marrow cancer,” which he wrote would explain the tiredness, weight loss and mobility issues that were spoken about during the last year of her life.

Her death certificate stated that she had died of old age.

Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on any of the claims in the book.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Books, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

TSM reports the death of former dean John Rodgers

From there:

We share news of the passing of our second Dean and President, The Rt. Rev. Dr. John Rodgers, and we join in praying for his family and friends. He was a tireless servant of our seminary and our country as a United States Marine veteran.

“Lord Jesus, be mindful of your promise. Think of us, your servants, especially The Rt. Rev. Dr. John Rodgers, and when we shall depart, speak to our spirits these loving words: “Today you shall be with me in joy.” O Lord Jesus Christ, remember us, your servants who trust in you, when our tongues cannot speak, when the sight of our eyes fails, and when our ears are stopped. Let our spirits always rejoice in you and be joyful about our salvation, which you, through your death, have purchased for us. Amen.” (110. For Joy at the End of Life, BCP 2019)

More memorial news and tributes will be forthcoming.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Seminary / Theological Education

(Wash. Post) Michael Gerson, Post columnist and Bush speechwriter on 9/11, dies at 58

Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush who helped craft messages of grief and resolve after 9/11, then explored conservative politics and faith as a Washington Post columnist writing on issues as diverse as President Donald Trump’s disruptive grip on the GOP and his own struggles with depression, died Nov. 17 at a hospital in Washington. He was 58.

The cause of death was complications of cancer, said Peter Wehner, a longtime friend and former colleague.

After years of working as a writer for conservative and evangelical leaders, including Prison Fellowship Ministries founder and Watergate felon Charles Colson, Mr. Gerson joined the Bush campaign in 1999. Mr. Gerson, an evangelical Christian, wrote with an eye toward religious and moral imagery, and that approach melded well with Bush’s personality as a leader open about his own Christian faith.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Media, Politics in General

Veterans Day Statistics 2022

You can find a page of 4 graphs there. There is also a research summary here and an infographic there. An excellent short summary of the history of Veterans Day may be found at this link. Finally, a link for the Veterans History Project is well worth your time exploring today. The VA’s National Cemetery Administration currently maintains 155 national cemeteries (you can find more facts about the national Cemetery Administration there). Twenty percent (105,845 Veterans interred in FY 2020) of U.S. Veterans who died (estimated 592,682 in FY 2020) in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in FY 2020 were buried in a national, state or tribal Veterans cemetery. As new national, state and tribal Veterans cemeteries open, this percentage is expected to increase.

Finally, a 16 page teachers guide for Veteran’s Day 2022 may be found there.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces

For Veterans Day 2020–The Poem For the Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces, Poetry & Literature

(CT) Died: Gordon Fee, Who Taught Evangelicals to Read the Bible ‘For All Its Worth’

Gordon Fee once told his students on the first day of a New Testament class at Wheaton College that they would—someday—come across a headline saying “Gordon Fee Is Dead.”

Then, instead of handing out the syllabus like a normal professor, he led the class in Charles Wesley’s hymn, “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.”

Fee, a widely influential New Testament teacher who believed that reading the Bible, teaching the Bible, and interpreting the Bible should bring people into an encounter with a living God, described himself as a “scholar on fire.” He died on Tuesday at the age of 88—although, as those who encountered him in the classroom or in his many books know, that’s not how he would have described it.

Fee co-wrote How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary colleague Douglas Stuart in the early 1980s. The book is now in its fourth edition and has sold around 1 million copies, becoming for many the standard text on the best way to approach Scripture. Fee also wrote a widely used handbook on biblical interpretation, several well-regarded commentaries on New Testament epistles, and groundbreaking academic research on the place of the Holy Spirit in the life and work of the Apostle Paul.

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Pentecostal, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) The Rev. Calvin Butts III, Pastor of Storied Black Church, Dies at 73

The Rev. Calvin Butts III, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York, died Friday. He was 73.

The church, considered one of the most influential Black houses of worship in the nation, announced his death Friday morning.

“It is with profound sadness, we announce the passing of our beloved pastor, Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, who peacefully transitioned in the early morning of October 28, 2022,” the church said in a statement.

Mr. Butts served in Abyssinian’s ministry for 50 years, joining as an executive minister in 1972 and becoming its 20th pastor in 1989.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Baptists, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(America) Collin price–The church forbids ‘human composting’ at death. But what about ‘green’ burials?

According to Brian Pham, S.J., professor of law and canon law at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., the church considered anything besides a “regular” Catholic burial to be a pagan ritual until the early 20th century. Cremation was a practice most commonly used in religious traditions that believe in reincarnation. These religions often see the body as merely a vessel; once the soul leaves the body, the body no longer serves a purpose. For them, cremation hastens the process of the soul entering a new body because it gets the old one out of the way. Such beliefs go against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The church teaches that the body is an integral part of the human person and that the glorified body will someday be rejoined with the soul in the resurrection. Cremation was forbidden for most of the last two millennia because its association with reincarnation and the negation of the body seemed in opposition to Catholic beliefs. But by the mid-20th century, cremation was being paired with traditional Christian funeral and burial practices. So the church updated its teachings in the 1983 Code of Canon Law to allow for cremation “unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine” (Canon 1176.3).

In an effort to clarify what that means in practical terms, in 2016 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published instructions for handling cremation in a Catholic context. The document clarifies the church’s theological teachings about the body after death and applies them to acceptable burial practices. The church prefers whole-body burial but allows cremation as long as it is done in the context of church teaching about the body after death. “By burying the bodies of the faithful,” the document states, the church affirms the “great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person.” Any burial practice must honor the body as part of the human person and cannot consider death to be “the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the ‘prison’ of the body.” In other words, the intent of the practice may not be to destroy the body after death and must show the body honor and respect.

Scattering ashes, for instance, is unacceptable in the Catholic Church because the body is dispersed across the water or land where it is scattered. Human composting, which turns the body into fertilizer that is then scattered over a garden or around a tree, is also unacceptable. In California, a recently passed bill legalized human composting in the state, beginning in 2027. The California Catholic Conference expressed strong opposition to the bill. And the New York Catholic conference has expressed opposition to a similar bill in New York. The church forbids human composting because the body is treated as a means to an end rather than an end in itself.

Father Pham summarized the theology underlying the church’s canon law about burial practices: “The primary focus has to be honoring and continuing to honor the person, which includes the body.” For the church, honoring means keeping the body together, putting it in a sacred place and marking the sacred place with the person’s name. “Canon law does not say a whole lot, other than that cremation is allowed but burial is preferred….

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer for All Souls Day

O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of thy Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Death / Burial / Funerals, Spirituality/Prayer

(CT) Ewan C. Goligher–Canada Euthanized 10,000 People in 2021. Has Death Lost Its Sting?

How then can we as Christians respond to the matter of physician-assisted death? First, we can call upon reason and the light of nature to affirm absolutely the value of life. Assisted death and suicide is said to be a matter of respect.

But to value a person is to value their existence. A willingness to deliberately end someone’s existence therefore necessarily devalues the person. If people matter, we must not intentionally end them.

Second, our churches can be communities where assisted death is inconceivable because the weak, the aged, the disabled, and the dying are regarded as priceless members of the community. We can be a place where those who suffer enjoy the devoted companionship, love, and support that reminds them of their value and bears them up through pain. This is, after all, what all of us long for.

Third, we can advocate for access to the very best medical and palliative care for those who are suffering or dying. The palliative care movement was started by a Christian physician, Dame Cicely Saunders, and has transformed medical care at the end of life. Yet access to good palliative care in the US, Canada, and the rest of the world is still far too limited.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Canada, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(1st Things) Jonathon Van Maren–Canada’s Killing Regime

Krista Carr, executive vice president of Inclusion Canada, is one such Canadian. “Most families of children born with disabilities are told from the start that their child will, in one way or another, not have a good quality of life,” she told the National Post. “Canada cannot begin killing babies when doctors predict there is no hope for them. Predictions are far too often based on discriminatory assumptions about life with a disability.”

Roy’s statement is merely the latest episode in a series of euthanasia horror stories from Canada that are shocking even to dulled Western sensibilities. Canada’s Supreme Court overturned criminal prohibitions on assisted suicide in Carter v. Canada in 2015. Shortly afterward, parliament passed Bill C-14 in 2016, which legalized “medical aid in dying” (or MAiD) for adults with “enduring and intolerable suffering” and a “reasonably foreseeable death.” In 2021, Bill C-7 was passed, which legalized MAiD for those struggling with mental illness. Canada has become an international cautionary tale.

Impoverished people are turning to MAiD out of desperation because they cannot access the resources they need or the treatments they require in Canada’s broken healthcare system. The Toronto Star—the largest and most liberal newspaper in the country—called it “Hunger Games style social Darwinism.” The story detailed how one woman is considering assisted suicide because she cannot find an affordable place to live in her city with wheelchair access. Her tale is becoming a common one.

Sixty-three-year-old Alan Philips, who has lived with chronic pain for almost two decades, recently got approved for assisted suicide after trying for eighteen years to get spinal fusion surgery to relieve his agony. He cannot get the surgery and has been prescribed opioids instead. “I cannot get adequate healthcare,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in Canada, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics

(TLS) Paula Fredriksen reviews Kyle Smith’s ‘Cult of the Dead: A brief history of Christianity’

Grisly torments. Hideous dismembering. Extreme self-mortification. Voluntary live entombment. The collection and even the theft of human body parts. The celebration of violent death. Such are some of the themes treated in Cult of the Dead. Yet reading this book conveys the feeling of bouncing over bumps at high speed on a sunny day in an all-terrain sports utility vehicle. How can such lugubrious topics provide so much fun? The tale is animated by the telling. With sly wit, subtle humour, agile prose and empathetic imagination, Kyle Smith narrates the growth of one of Christianity’s defining traditions: its adoration of the martyr.

Smith’s interest in the subject was ignited by chance, when he was introduced to a luridly illustrated catalogue of tortures. Treatise on the Instruments of Martyrdom featured spikes and swords, axes and arrows, weights and wheels. Composed in the sixteenth century and translated into English in 1903, this bibliographic find led Smith to contemplate the ways in which martyr cults affected Christian piety and politics, the economic development of the post-Roman West and the very measurement of time.

“Being killed is an event”, Smith notes, quoting Daniel Boyarin. “Martyrdom is a literary genre.” That genre was already enshrined in Christian scripture, with its narrations of Jesus’s crucifixion in the gospels and of the stoning of Stephen in Acts. By the time that the New Testament was firmly canonized (in the early fourth century, impelled by the newly converted emperor, Constantine), the age of the martyrs was, technically, past: pagans could no longer make martyrs of the faithful. How many actually suffered is unknown and unknowable: as late as the 240s, the great theologian Origen commented that their number could easily be counted (Against Celsus 3.8). Nor do we know much about the legal mechanisms that may have brought people to trial. Nor can we date martyrdoms with much security. What we do know is that stories about martyrs were tremendously popular. With Constantine’s conversion their production bloomed.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Books, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Religion & Culture

[Former Auburn Football Player] Philip Lutzenkirchen and his legacy

Watch it all–used in the sermon yesterday morning by yours truly–KSH.

Posted in Alcohol/Drinking, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sports, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Edith Cavell

Living God, who art the source of all healing and wholeness: we bless thee for the compassionate witness of thy servant Edith Cavell. Inspire us, we beseech thee, to be agents of peace and reconciliation in a world beset by injustice, poverty, and war. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer

([London Times) Kallistos Ware–Gentle-voiced Oxford don and Greek Orthodox bishop who spread understanding of his faith in the English-speaking worl

The young Ware had entered a world of perpetual controversy, between different nations and ethnicities and between different shades of ideology. The remainder of his life was devoted to wrestling with these contradictions and helping others to do so.

Having won a King’s Scholarship to study classics at Magdalen College, Oxford, he took a double first and wrote a doctoral thesis on St Mark the Ascetic. At the same time he deepened his commitment to Orthodoxy. He loved Russian spirituality but was wary of being embroiled in Russian controversies. His wisest Russian mentors advised moving closer to the religious mainstream and joining the Greek church, into which he was received in 1958, later being elevated to the priesthood, tonsured as a monk and given the name Kallistos in 1966.

By that time he had been guided by Amphilochios Makris, a visionary monastic on Patmos, who said that care for the environment, especially trees, was a Christian duty. It was this monk, canonised in 2018, who advised the young Englishman that his future lay in teaching Orthodox Christianity in the West.

Ware faithfully carried out this mission during three decades as an Oxford lecturer, presenting arcane theological issues with clarity and humour.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Orthodox Church, Theology

(Church Times) Irish bishops express sympathy for bereaved after Creeslough explosion

Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland have joined Pope Francis in offering prayers for those killed in an explosion in Creeslough, County Donegal, on Friday.

On Sunday, Irish police released the names of the ten people who were killed in the explosion. The victims included three children, among them Shauna Flanagan Garwe, who was five years old.

The blast destroyed a petrol station and a shop, and damaged surrounding buildings, in the village, which is in the north-western part of the Republic of Ireland.

On Saturday, the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, and the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, released a statement with the bishop of Derry & Raphoe, in whose Church of Ireland diocese Creeslough is situated.

“On behalf of Church of Ireland people across this island, we wish to express our sympathy to all who have been bereaved,” the statement read. It continued: “Our hearts also go out to those who have been injured and to their families, along with the assurance of our prayers in the weeks to come.

Read it all.

Posted in --Ireland, Church of Ireland, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ecumenical Relations, Roman Catholic

(Christian Chronicle) Loretta Lynn ‘was serious about her faith and a devout member of the church’

In her 1976 autobiography, Loretta Lynn, then 44, reflected on her “funny beliefs,” which she said sometimes mixed religion and superstition.

“I’m trying to lead a good Christian life, especially since I got baptized two years ago,” she wrote. “So there ain’t too much spicy to tell about me — just the truth.”

Elsewhere in the book, she proclaimed, “Nobody’s perfect. The only one that ever was, was crucified.”

Lynn grew up in the coal-mining community of Butcher Holler, Ky., also known as Butcher Hollow.

She attended church on Sundays and listened to preacher Elzie Banks “tell us about God and the devil.”

“I believed it all, but for some reason, I was never baptized,” she said. “After I started in music, I got away from going to church and reading the Bible. I believe I was living the way God meant me to, but I wasn’t giving God the right attention….”

Read it all.

Posted in Alcoholism, Baptism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Music, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CT) Vijayesh Lal–Brother Andrew Changed Me. His Approach Can Change India.

He counseled me to trust God for my provision and that God will take care of the ones he calls. But he also narrated his own life experience, when his wife asked him if the needs of the family were not met, what would he do? He had answered, “I would go back to the factory.” But he encouraged me by letting me know that he never had to do so; God had always provided.

As someone who delivered the precious Word of God to the church that needed it the most, Brother Andrew understood the importance of reading and studying the Bible as well as other books that can educate and disciple the believer. “Go through the Word of God and let the Word of God go through you,” he would tell us. He used to say that every Open Doors base should have a modest library where people can read and learn about ministry and topics in general.

Brother Andrew was very well read and informed. That is what perhaps helped him to focus on areas where many were oblivious. From the Iron Curtain to the “bamboo curtain” of China, from the Communist context to the context of the Muslim world, he always sought to carry Jesus and his gospel to people in need. He believed in the ministry being “lean and mean” and was not afraid to explore new frontiers or to have views that were less popular.

As I look back today, I am thankful to God for Brother Andrew and his life. For his simplicity and his matter-of-fact attitude, but most of all for his example in his obedience to Christ that allowed him to impact millions.

When he was once asked what he would like his epitaph to be, Brother Andrew answered, “He did what he couldn’t.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, India, Missions

(NYT) Hilary Mantel, Prize-Winning Author of Historical Fiction, Dies at 70

But it was a long and arduous road to reach those heights, beginning with a tough childhood. “I was unsuited to being a child,” Ms. Mantel wrote in a 2003 memoir, “Giving Up the Ghost.” She endured numerous health problems, leading one doctor to call her “Little Miss Neverwell.” The doctor was the first of many to fail to properly treat her.

Her illnesses later proved so debilitating that she could not hold down regular jobs, steering her to writing. But even then it was a writer’s life of fits and starts. Mainstream success did not come to her until she was well into her 50s….

In her 20s, Ms. Mantel was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition in which tissue similar to that lining the womb grows elsewhere. Around that time, a doctor ordered her to stop writing. Her response, described in her memoir, was typically forthright: “I said to myself, ‘If I think of another story, I will write it.’”

At 27, having had the endometriosis diagnosis confirmed, she had surgery to remove her uterus and ovaries, although that did not stop the pain. The complications from her illness made a normal day job impossible, she said.

“It narrowed my options in life,” she said, “and it narrowed them to writing.”

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Poetry & Literature

(R U) Terry Mattingly–The Last Rites For Elizabeth II

“Queen Elizabeth was one of those people in this mortal life who always thought ahead,” said David Lyle Jeffrey, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. When preparing these rites, the queen was “clearly looking for prayers, Scriptures and hymns that made connections she wanted to make for her family, her people and the world. … I think she succeeded brilliantly.”

An Anglican from Canada, Jeffrey said the events closing the queen’s historic 70-year reign were an appropriate time to explore the “essence of her admirable Christian character.” Thus, the retired literature professor wrote a poem after her death — “Regina Exemplaris (An exemplary queen)” — saluting her steady, consistent faith. It ended with these lines:

She who longest wore the heavy crown

Knew but to kneel before the unseen throne

And plead her people’s cause as for her own,

And there to praise the Lord of All, bowed down,

More conscious of his glory than her high acclaim,

Exemplar thus in worship, in praise more worthy of the Name.

After the “Kontakion of the Departed,” Bishop David Conner, the dean of St. George’s Chapel, noted the importance of this sanctuary to Queen Elizabeth. She had worshipped in the Windsor Castle chapel as a girl, sometimes singing in the choir and taking piano lessons with organist Sir William Henry Harris. The queen included some of his music in the committal service.

“We are bound to call to mind,” said Conner, “someone whose uncomplicated, yet profound Christian faith bore so much fruit … in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world, but also, and especially to be remembered in this place, in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family, friends and neighbors.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC Sounds) A Discussion looking back on the Queen’s funeral especially focusing on the faith issues involved

Herewith the BBC blurb about the show:

Exploring the faith behind the pomp and pageantry of the Queen’s funeral.

Millions will have watched the historic funeral service from Westminster Abbey and the Committal at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest. For some, the services will be full of meaning and resonance. Others will be less familiar with the Christian rituals that have evolved over centuries.

Ernie Rea is joined by writer and journalist Catherine Pepinster, Professor Douglas Davies, Rev Dr Giles Fraser and Andrew Carwood MBE (Director of Music, St Paul’s Cathedral) to discuss and illuminate the meaning, symbolism and significance of the Queen’s state funeral.

Listen to it all (28 minutes).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

(NYT front page) With Sadness and Uncertainty, Britons Close an Elizabethan Age

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest on Monday after a majestic state funeral that drew tens of millions of Britons together in a vast expression of grief and gratitude, as they bade farewell to a sovereign whose seven-decade reign had spanned their lives and defined their times.

It was the culmination of 10 days of mourning since the queen died on Sept. 8 in Scotland — a highly choreographed series of rituals that fell amid a deepening economic crisis and a fraught political transition in Britain — and yet everything about the day seemed destined to be etched into history.

Tens of thousands of people lined the route of the cortege past the landmarks of London. In Hyde Park, people watching the service on large screens joined in “The Lord’s Prayer” when it was recited at Westminster Abbey. Thousands more cheered, many strewing flowers in the path of her glass-topped hearse, as the queen’s coffin was driven to Windsor Castle, where she was buried next to her husband, Prince Philip.

“In this changing world, she was a pillar of the old world,” said Richard Roe, 36, who works in finance in Zurich and flew home for the funeral. “It’s nice to have something that’s stable and stands for good values.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Coleridge Patteson

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Anglican Church of Melanesia, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Spirituality/Prayer

The full order of service for Queen Elizabeth II’s committal at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle today

All stand as the Dean of Windsor says:

THE BIDDING

WE have come together to commit into the hands of God the soul of his servant Queen Elizabeth. Here, in St George’s Chapel, where she so often worshipped, we are bound to call to mind someone whose uncomplicated yet profound Christian Faith bore so much fruit. Fruit, in a life of unstinting service to the Nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world, but also (and especially to be remembered in this place) in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family and friends and neighbours. In the midst of our rapidly changing and frequently troubled world, her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and with hope. As, with grateful hearts, we reflect on these and all the many other ways in which her long life has been a blessing to us, we pray that God will give us grace to honour her memory by following her example, and that, with our sister Elizabeth, at the last, we shall know the joys of life eternal.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Sermon for The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Come Holy Spirit, fill us with the balm of your healing love. Amen.

The pattern for many leaders is to be exalted in life and forgotten after death. The pattern for all who serve God – famous or obscure, respected or ignored – is that death is the door to glory.

Her Late Majesty famously declared on a 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the Nation and Commonwealth.

Rarely has such a promise been so well kept! Few leaders receive the outpouring of love that we have seen.

Jesus – who in our reading does not tell his disciples how to follow, but who to follow – said: “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Her Late Majesty’s example was not set through her position or her ambition, but through whom she followed. I know His Majesty shares the same faith and hope in Jesus Christ as his mother; the same sense of service and duty.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

The full order of Service for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral held this morning USA Time

The Precentor says

Let us pray that we may be given grace to live as those who believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to eternal life.

BRING us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitation of thy glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.

–John Donne (1572–1631)

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Posted in Church of England, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

(Spectator) [Former Bishop of London] Richard Chartres–The Queen’s life was anchored by Christianity

She was always reticent about her personal opinions about people and policies. She was reluctant even to divulge whether she had a favourite hymn, knowing that she would be condemned ever afterwards to hear it on every occasion.

During the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, in a speech at Lambeth Palace the Queen was explicit about her own view of the role of the Church of England in a multicultural country. ‘The concept of our established church is occasionally misunderstood and I believe commonly underappreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.’

The Queen believed that the ‘Defender of the Faith’ should be the friend and protector of all the faiths which make up the national community. She was an assiduous visitor to temples, gurdwaras and mosques. The idea, however, that you could slip the Christian anchorage in favour of a generalised benevolence to all religions was not one she instinctively favoured. To be simply a ‘Defender of Faith’, rather than the Faith, suggests that one occupies an elevated position in which all faiths are seen as more or less adequate local editions of something vaguely lying beyond them all. Spiritual progress and deeper appreciation of other traditions comes from the serious and disciplined choice of a particular way to follow. The Queen was intensely disciplined in every aspect of her life including in its spiritual dimension. Wherever she was, Sunday worship was a priority.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

An All Souls, Langham Place, Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

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Posted in Church History, Church of England, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Religion & Culture, Theology