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What to preach at funerals? Competition!

open_bible1I came across this interesting quotation in the next Grove Worship booklet, which is about preaching at funerals. There is a prize of a free copy of the booklet for the first person in comments who can identify the somewhat surprising source!

(I have doctored one or two words to prevent the source being too easily identified…)

A brief sermon based on the readings is always given after the gospel reading at the funeral liturgy and may also be given after the readings at the vigil service…Attentive to the grief of those present, the preacher should dwell on God’s compassionate love and on the paschal mystery of the Lord, as proclaimed in the Scripture readings. The preacher should also help the members of the assembly to understand that the mystery of God’s love and the mystery of Jesus’ victorious death and resurrection were present in the life and death of the deceased and that these mysteries are active in their own lives as well. Through the sermon, members of the family and community should receive consolation and strength to face the death of one of their members with a hope nourished by the saving word of God.

Suggestions below please!


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9 Responses to What to preach at funerals? Competition!

  1. Matt Watts December 1, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    RC Missal?

  2. Terry December 1, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Seeing as you say it’s a ‘somewhat surprising source’, I’m going to go with Bultmann!

  3. Edward Pillar December 1, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    The RC Order of Christian Funerals

  4. Tom December 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    ‘Tis indeed the RC Order. Why is it surprising though?

  5. Clive December 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    My youngest brother was recently executed in Libya by an arabic gang on New Year’s day (and “executed” is the right word because he was made to kneel on the beach with his hands behind his back and shot through the head). It was in the national newspapers and media but much of what was published was untrue.

    I take funerals myself but I asked the vicar associated with the RAF base to take the service in the crematorium because my brother was ex-RAF.
    She preached on the unexpected power cut suddenly taking the bright light bulb out and leaving us in the dark. When the power later comes back it cannot be lit again. This was the springboard to talk about God’s act of taking-away being unexpected.

    For many of those at a funeral it was a message that spoke of Christianity, of God, and was easily understandable.

    • Ian Paul December 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

      Clive, thanks again for sharing your painful experience. It is good to know that preaching at a funeral is not without purpose…

      • Clive December 4, 2014 at 10:24 am #

        Thank you Ian,

        The untruths issued by the media were quite offensive (such as the Daily Mail printing he was married when he wasn’t – the public then wrote on line that my brother deserved to be killed) but we didn’t want to be interviewed.

        Amazingly there were picture of the killing on the internet for quite a while. I couldn’t bring myself to look at them, so I haven’t looked, but I discovered later that my wife did in order to make sure it was my brother!

        The funny side of the press is that the full inquest was held in Bedfordshire recently (September) because the specialist post-mortem was done at Bedford. The coroner clearly stated that my brother was born in Sheffield. The press wrote down Shefford. Even the BBC said Shefford (Bedfordhire) when they should have said Sheffield (Yorkshire) – they are miles apart.

  6. Rev Peter Kane December 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    It is from the General introduction to the Order of Christian Funerals, used by the Roman Catholic Church in England & Wales.

  7. Ian Paul December 2, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Peter Kane you are the winner! But Edward Pillar got the right area, so I think you should both win! (Sorry, Matt, ‘missal’ wasn’t close enough!)

    If you both email me your address, you can have a free copy of this booklet, on How to Plan and Conduct a Funeral, or another Grove title of your choice.

    I thought it was quite surprising, since it is something you could imagine an evangelical saying. It always interests me to see such connections between theological traditions.

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