Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Day at the Funeral Parlour

The becoming a minister thing is really happening... Today we spent the day at Tobin Brothers Funeral Parlour. We listened to the 'ins and outs' of running a funeral, and spent time visiting a grave site, crematorium, we saw a 'prepared' deceased body and other things...

Here are some of the 'not so perfect' funeral stories (all true stories...):
* Forgetting the name of the deceased and using a relative's name instead
* Accidentally pressing the button for the lowering of the coffin at the beginning of the service!
* Having to lower the coffin at the beginning because the sides of the dug grave were caving in.
* A family rings the Crematorium because they wanted to receive back their father's hip replacement, made of pure gold, only to be told the body has already been burnt and the gold had melted.
* Saying the wrong things, like praising God for the death of a 13 year old girl, because 'it must be in his will'... Gee... I don't know I would say that!
* Pastoral visits of grieving families... with all the varied reactions, for example, family disputes/arguments, power struggles, queries about 'The Will' before proceeding with the funeral, families that are actually relieved at the death of a relative because they were 'an abuser'.

This all being said... A funeral is no doubt a priveleged time of ministry for a minister. A time to support families deal with grief, to offer support, prayer, stability, and a 'shoulder' to cry on. I look forward to the opportunities I will have in the future to support families through the funeral process, and to speak prophetically into their lives at such a crucial time.

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