In recent years funerals have garnered a lot of criticism. They have been called everything from pagan to a denial of death. I cannot agree with the current thinking that we should do away with funeral services. If we do, we will be doing away with not only the dignity of the individual, but also with something that helps people have a normal grief release. People have always had traditions, customs, and rites for important events like marriage and death. If we didn’t have them, we would need to invent new rituals to guide us in knowing what is right and proper at such times.
God made man in dignity. His departure from this world should be in dignity. A funeral service, the viewing of the body, and the sending of flowers are right and good.
What are the values of a funeral?
1. It helps people face and accept the reality of death. It reinforces the fact that death has actually taken place and that your loved one has gone beyond recall.
2. The funeral is an opportunity for us to express love and respect as well as grief for our loved ones. This is a necessary experience. There must be a time and place for us to say farewell to the body. The funeral provides an opportunity for us to do this with dignity and courage. The message, the ritual, and the gathering of friends are all aids in this.
3. The funeral is a public recognition of the value and worth of a person to the community and his friends.
4. Finally, the funeral is an opportunity to bear witness to our faith. The burial itself is a testimony of our belief in immortality and the resurrection, but the entire service—the music, the message, and the way we conduct ourselves—can be a clear expression of our faith to the world.
Funerals are important and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.