Funerals- A Thing of The Past?

This may seem like a strange post, but it's been on my mind.

We just had our third Memorial service here at the church. This is not so unusual for a church--but unusual in the sense that we've had three without a coffin or casket. They've been memorial services (2 after a private burial prior to the service) and celebration services for the families.

Each of them have been different. One was for a long time member of the church who was military veteran and church servant; one was for an artist and teacher and the last for the mother of a teen here in our community.

It was a challenge-"What do you put up front if there is no casket?" So we came up with the idea of a memory table. We've tried to make each of them as personal as possible; asking the family to bring pictures and items that were close to them. (Candles, hobby items, bibles, scripture notes, etc). The Artist funeral we had people bring the different art that she had created for them and placed them on easels (like an art exhibit)

The reaction has been very positive--so much so that the local floral company thinks we may have started a trend (meaning no body at the service) After one of the services there was a reception held in our Garden area. People lingered much longer after that service than I've ever seen at a graveside.

It seems to focus the service more on the life of the individual and not so much on the sad goodbyes that have characterized funerals of the past.

I think I might like this kind of memorial when I'm gone. What do you think
This post is part of Water Cooler Wednesdays over at Randy Elrod's Blog


a kelly said...

A lovely and personal way to remember someone's life.