My approach to funeral sermons

It’s not about me—it’s about God and the deceased.

Read the main article, “Black men I've mourned.”

Each time I do a funeral, I make some simple concessions before arriving at the church.

The sermon will be 20 minutes or less. Religious ser­vices, in general, meet with resistance. Nobody wants them to go on forever. And a funeral is a challenging time for those in attendance. It is not the time to showcase my homiletical skills, exegetical deftness, or poetic flare. The funeral is about God and the deceased. I concede that I will not be able to capture the full picture of someone’s life in 20 minutes. The funeral service is but a piece of a very long day of emotional drain. So I try to be respectful of people’s time.