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The Forum > Article Comments > The awful funeral > Comments

The awful funeral : Comments

By Peter Sellick, published 14/3/2014

We now attend funerals in which a number of speakers are let loose on the congregation tolling the virtues of the deceased, often blubbering into the microphone as they read scripts spat out by computer printers.

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Many of us are not interested in salvation under the rules of Peter Sellick's god.

Many people make a great success in this life by living a full and generous life.

I attended one excellent funeral; a funeral for a high school teacher popular with his staff compatriots and with almost all the students, even those who had tried his patience.

The funeral service contained comments on many of the things in life that the deceased enjoyed and finished with a hearty rendition of "When the Saints go Marching In". Many of those attending joined in.

It was a fitting tribute to a man who had been generous with his time and concern for others, rather than taking any selfish interest in his prospects in some highly unlikely, probably impossible, future life.

For myself, I prefer to follow in that teacher's lifetime footsteps and, at my end, have my life celebrated in like manner.
Posted by Foyle, Friday, 14 March 2014 8:19:14 AM
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Goodness me. I can only say that my father's secular funeral, planned and conducted by his family, was infinitely more comforting and meaningful to me than the impersonal fire-and-brimstone babbling of the parson who conducted my grandfather's.

The notion that only a funeral can only be meaningful to the bereaved if it contains ample reference to Sell's special deity(TM) is laughable. Try again.
Posted by JBSH, Friday, 14 March 2014 8:25:29 AM
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This is a well-written reminder for Christians, but what have you to offer those who are not?
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 14 March 2014 8:48:10 AM
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What an awful person, such lack of empathy, for those who can find no words of their own, because they are completely consumed with grief!
I plan to make a video, that can be shown at my funeral, and a place I'm just dying to get to. Nudge nudge wink wink say no more. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse, or for that matter, a corpse.
This video will tell all those who come, possibly as many as half a dozen, What a great bloke I was, and as I aged, all my triumphs became larger and larger! That the older I got, the better I was; and, that I still exist, but in a very different form, that nonetheless, retains memories and love for all those attend, in full to overflowing measure.
If one person can truly say, I made a difference, that the world is a better place for my having been part of it, I promise not to haunt them!
Nor will I haunt those who sing my praises, [even if those praises are compiled by a computer.] If the good I've done outweighs my bad or thoughtlessness, I will rest in peace.
I will have four songs played; namely, to reach the impossible stars, I did it my way, everybody have a drink on me, and my Mother told me there'd be days like this.
Finally, I'd expect everyone to go away, and party like there's no tomorrow, which would be then true for me! And in the fullness of time, this awful awful author!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 14 March 2014 9:45:41 AM
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.

Dear Peter,

.

I think there is a basic misunderstanding here as to why people choose to have a church ceremony. In your view, a funeral is an occasional act of worship of God .

Most people never go to church these days except when somebody close to them dies. I doubt that their prime motivation in doing so, on such (fortunately) rare occasions, is to worship God.

If they make an exception and go to church for a funeral, it is because it is a very human reaction of sympathy and love for the dead person and a natural movement of solidarity with friends and family and all those who share in the loss and seek mutual comfort.

The church is felt to be the most appropriate setting for such a gathering with a priest officiating, even if he happens to be awful, which, unfortunately is sometimes the case, particularly if he misinterprets the purpose of their visit.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 14 March 2014 10:42:19 AM
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I find myself in slight agreement with Peter Sellick IF we are restricting his comments to a church-based service of worship to accord with the established religious beliefs of the deceased.

Otherwise we should regard it as a memorial service and the family and friends' expectations should be met with appropriate consideration of the church/temple/etc.

If the gathering is elsewhere then the form of it, however awful, is entirely the business of the 'bereaved'.

Though having said that, I'm not dying to have Peter Sellick officiate at my funeral...
Posted by WmTrevor, Friday, 14 March 2014 11:58:40 AM
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