More than 30,000 funerals in Britain last year were nonreligious, as families turn increasingly to "celebration-of-life" ceremonies rather than church services, according to new figures.
The rise is being attributed to people's growing willingness to admit that they are non-believers, and to their desire to avoid "hypocrisy".
Ten years ago, a funeral without a minister of religion and reference to God was virtually unheard of but increasingly, services are presided over by a "celebrant" and involve poems instead of psalms, while mourners are often asked to wear something bright rather than black....
"Let the dead bury the dead",sounds like good advice to me.True disciples of Christ will still lay their "asleep" brethern to a proper rest,after all there is a real difference.If you live for Christ,you continue to live for Christ. If you lived for yourself,well let's put it this way,The folk at your wake may be celebrating your life,but at this point ,you know better,how be it too late.
Regardless of what one believes or doesn't believe, the fashion for long sentimental speeches about the deceased gives me the creeps.
At my own mother's funeral, my brother and I insisted that there was to be absolutely nothing in the way of a eulogy. It wouldn't help her, and it wouldn't help us.
Besides, eulogies (if that is the right word for them) can introduce very profane elements into a religious setting, especially if some old codger is fondly recalling all the successes the deceased had with the ladies.
"From the Directory of public worship in 1645. Church of Scotland (and Act of Parliament)"
"Concerning Burial of the Dead."
Thanks for that quote. It really does shed new light on things. We definitely do far too much at funeral services rather than doing too little. When I started reading that quote my first reaction was, "This sounds pretty heartless," but then it began to make sense to me. The more we do of anything the more room there is for error, as is said:
"And because the custom of kneeling down, and praying by or towards the dead corpse, and other such usages, in the place where it lies before it be carried to burial, are superstitious; and for that praying, reading, and singing, both in going to and at the grave, ---have been grossly abused, are no way beneficial to the dead, and have proved many ways hurtful to the living---; therefore let all such things be laid aside."
Protestant very well put. Nothing New!!! I would think it couldn't be a better time to at least to give a short gospel message then at a funeral, some of the attendees may not hear any where else. Long eulogies are not appreciated by me. The guy whole spoke for an hour or two at the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery doesn't have his words etched in stone like the short one that Abraham Lincoln gave.
I always remember an old saying, "A smile to the living is better than a eulogy to the dead."
msc No true Christian will reject God. The point at issue is surely the "ceremony" ABOUT and FOR the deceased. Nothing can be preached which may reach that person now that he/she is dead. Therefore the ceremony/sermonising can only reach the living. But to "evangelise" at funeral time to the grieving (with a eulogy), is nothing short of bad timing.
Concerning the statement from the Church of Scotland, I think that reference to "ceremony" refers to Roman rituals--prayers to and for the dead, helping the dead by a mass or some similar service, etc., not necessarily rejecting God.
From the Directory of public worship in 1645. Church of Scotland (and Act of Parliament)
"Concerning Burial of the Dead.
WHEN any person departeth this life, let the dead body, upon the day of burial, be decently attended from the house to the place appointed for publick burial, and there immediately interred, WITHOUT ANY CEREMONY.
And because the custom of kneeling down, and praying by or towards the dead corpse, and other such usages, in the place where it lies before it be carried to burial, are superstitious; and for that praying, reading, and singing, both in going to and at the grave, have been grossly abused, are no way beneficial to the dead, and have proved many ways hurtful to the living; therefore let all such things be laid aside.
Howbeit, we judge it very convenient, that the Christian friends, which accompany the dead body to the place appointed for publick burial, do apply themselves to meditations and conferences suitable to the occasion and that the minister, as upon other occasions, so at this time, if he be present, may put them in remembrance of their duty.
That this shall not extend to deny any civil respects or deferences at the burial, suitable to the rank and condition of the party deceased, while he was living."