Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why I love funerals.

I was a church pianist for a few decades, and now I’m a pastor’s wife (don’t those usually go together?)  So I’ve been to a ton of funerals over the years.   

Once I was talking to a friend in the church parking lot, and she informed me she wasn’t going to the funeral of one of our friends.  Funerals are so dark and sad, she said. 

I was shocked.  Dark and sad?   

I’m probably a weirdo, but there’s a funeral of a friend in a few hours, and I’m looking forward to going. 

This lady loved Jesus and knew she was dying soon.  She told my pastor husband she wanted the graveside service first and the party at the church second. 

The party at the church.  That’s how she described her own funeral service. 


So here’s why I love a good funeral of someone who loved Jesus: 

1.     There’s usually free food afterward.  (I do have a shallow side.)
2.     It’s a woo-hoo-you-did-it celebration.  Life is hard, and someone who gets to the end deserves a cheer.
3.     All of the person’s weak, failing moments get swept away, and everyone pulls up all the reasons why they love this person.  And the grace of that moment is encouraging.  Maybe someday people will forget about the dumb, hurtful stuff I did and will just sift out the good stuff.
4.     Oh yeah, we don’t live forever.  Sometimes I forget life is a mist and need a reminder not to worry so much about earth stuff.
5.     I feel challenged, all the way down to my bone marrow, to live a good-epitaph life.
6.     I remember that Jesus and love are everything.  Once in the casket nothing else matters. 

The only thing I don’t like about funerals is that they make me jealous.  Make me miss Jesus so much, and I feel jealous that this person's hard life is done and she gets to enjoy Jesus already.  With each funeral I get more impatient with the waiting. 

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.”  (Ecclesiastes 7:2  NIV) 

At your funeral, what do you hope people say about you?


  1. First time visiting/commenting on your blog; I have enjoyed reading some of your writings. I have to say I can count on one hand the funerals I've gone to, but the best one recently I went to was for my sister-in-law's mom. She wanted her funeral to focus on Jesus; they had praise songs sang there, the pastor gave the sermon about Jesus and accepting him as Lord and Savior and an alter call. People there could share about what they loved about Pat, but it was just neat that the focus was on Jesus. I'd want something similar when it is my time. I actually finished reading a book this past week that I reviewed on my blog, What you Need to Know about Bible Prophecy written by Max Anders who said something so profound it has stuck with me. He said physical death is a wonderful gift because it releases us from our sin-corrupted bodies and completes our union with Jesus. Made me totally re-think death. We tend to get so sad about death, but for those of us who know Jesus, it is really something truly wonderfuly indeed!


    1. Thanks for stopping by! A complete union with Jesus and no more sin sounds wonderful to me. I definitely hope my funeral is all about Jesus, too.