At a recent funeral of the bother of a very dear family friend I was struck by how comforting all the rituals were to all of us. Almost everyone there was knowledgable about the funeral rites and it allowed us to relax, to be carried along by the rhythm of the liturgy and to be consoled by the comfort of familiar roles and responsibilities.
In Catholic funerals, the Church seeks to provide spiritual support for the deceased and honor their bodies, as well as to provide a measure of hope for the family and friends of the deceased.
I have been to funerals where the closest thing to ritual was a CD playing “I can’t give you anything but love, Baby,” as the crematorium doors opened. [I kid you not.]
Others might find such off-beat funerals meaningful and original, but, when I am deep in sorrow, I don’t want anything new – I want the comfort of the tried and true.
Do you feel the same way?