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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a gift to the grieving

All funerals are sad to some degree. Some funerals aren't quite as sad as others and some are more sad than others. Over the last few years that I've been working at a church, I've had the privilege of doing many funerals. Some of them were frankly, forgettable. I didn't know the people very well or hadn't ever met them. Those funerals are easier to do. Then some of them, I'll never forget. Whether I knew the person or their family personally or if it was just a traumatic and unexpected situation, parts of these funerals will always stick with me.
What I have discovered is that people crave certain things during their times of grief. One is familiarity. Another is comfort. That's where I like to think I can help. By singing a familiar song or hymn, I'm able to provide the surviving family a sense of hope, peace or contentment. I'm sharing with them in their grief and helping them to acknowledge a greater purpose in their temporary sadness.
Today, I'll be singing an old funeral standard, "I'll Fly Away". I think the words of the song pretty much sums of the theme of any funeral.

Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away;
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away

[Chorus]
I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away


When the shadows of this life have gone,
I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I'll fly away


Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I'll fly away

2 comments:

  1. I never think about you having to be at so many funerals. I think I've only been to 5 in my entire life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've probably done 15 or so this year. It's quite a lot.

    ReplyDelete

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