The good funeral

Recovering Christian practices

When Elizabeth Janzen died in a Minneapolis nursing home, the staff immediately notified the closest relative, her daughter Sarah in St. Louis. Sarah, who had faithfully visited her mother once a month, arranged for Elizabeth to be cremated, for the ashes to be sent to St. Louis and for an obituary to be placed in the Minneapolis newspaper. A month later, Sarah took the ashes to a lake in rural Minnesota, where Elizabeth and her family had often vacationed, and scattered them on the water.

A week later, a memorial service was held in the chapel of the Minneapolis church where Elizabeth had kept her membership, though her health had prevented her from attending for a number of years. On a table at the entrance to the chapel were placed several photographs of Elizabeth at various stages in her life, her Bible, a ceramic vase she had made, and a few other personal mementos.


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