Graveside

The best and worst of ministry
The articles in this issue on funerals set me to thinking about my own experience and the changes I have witnessed in funerals. In my first two congregations I never conducted a funeral in the church itself. Every funeral was held in a funeral home, and every funeral was followed by a graveside interment and committal. That meant taking a ride in the front seat of the hearse, making small talk with the funeral director, and being part of a long procession of cars led by a county sheriff on a motorcycle. Now the funerals I conduct are in the church, where they belong. Only rarely is there a casket present or a graveside committal. In downtown Chicago the last funeral home closed several years ago.

 

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