Friday, September 27, 2019
The funeral as religious barometer. . .
America is always well behind other countries when it comes to such trends but the same trend can be seen among us as well. More and more Christians are opting for a Celebration of Life in which happy and nostalgic remembrances replace the funeral rite with its focus on the hope that is in us in Christ.
The religious funeral is dying a rather quick death in England with more and more Britons are opting for increasingly secular and, well, rather quirky ways to mourn their dead. Instead of people dressed in black with pallbearers marching in unison and the somber tone of grief and tears among the mourners in crematoriums, churches and cemeteries, the British are expressing their grief in more personal ways. In the vast majority of cases, it's no longer in a traditional funeral service. According to the largest provider of funeral services in Briton, funerals now represent the unique life an individual has lived. They are seeing requests for wonderfully personalized ceremonies, whether that be on the 18th hole of a golf club, or having a pet dog present on the day. The choices are endless, it would seem, and few requests are considered out of bounds.
Americans have turned their funeral homes into places for more than viewing the dead. Increasingly they have become venues for the same kind of personal expressions of grief and remembrances of the life of the deceased without benefit of church, rite, or Scripture. Even among so-called Christians! It is one more way in which we as a nation find ways in which the faith has become increasingly distant from the ways in which we see ourselves or understand life in general.