Death is awful and awe-ful. We know that; and yet current practice seems determined to deny both the fact and the solemnity of death. We say “We are sorry for your loss,” and talk about the deceased’s “passing”. When I conduct funerals, I feel unnerved if people say that a tribute “summed him or her up to a T”, as though my job had been to conjure the deceased’s spirit for one final grand appearance before the tea and cakes appeared.
What was remarkable about Judith’s funeral was that it was so Christian. The body was honoured; and Judith was prayed for both as a sinner and as one redeemed. There was a real parting, but it was a parting in hope, not a shadowy lingering.
I have been to a humanist funeral, and found it moving and reverent. But real Christian funerals now are rare: even Christians prefer not to call a funeral what it is.
It seems obscene, when so many die randomly in violence and war around the world, that we try so hard to domesticate the deaths of our friends and loved ones, denying both the majesty and the mercy of our final public engagement.
Angela Tilby: Funerals should not deny the reality of deathhttps://t.co/RpnQrwJEwc
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) February 28, 2018