Poems for Funerals by Glenys Noonan |
When someone close to you dies, grief fills the mind all too easily. The organising of a funeral can take every ounce of energy in you but there are people who can help. You don’t have to use a traditional funeral arranger, with their big black cars and expensive coffins, it’s possible to make nearly all the arrangements yourself, even the preparation of the body for cremation. For the moment however, let us look to the practical aspects of organising a funeral. The first thing to do is Make sure the body is where you want it to be. For example, would you prefer to have the deceased person at home for a day or so , so that close family members can pay their respects, perhaps feel a real sense of closure, by actually sighting the body. Traditionally this was always done, with the deceased person laid out in the front room in their best clothes, sometimes on the dining table!
It might matter to you, to have the deceased dressed in clothes that suit them or that are somehow special to YOU. It’s important to remember that funerals are for the living as much as they are for the dead.
Whom should you tell? Do you know who the friends were? Certainly all the relatives, neighbours, notices put in the local paper, the papers of places where they used to live, websites? It all helps. We will discuss the planning of a wake in subsequent articles but for the moment, let us take the time to consider the right words for a funeral. Local publisher Fine Poets, a company with several funeral celebrants in their family have put together a CD and website called Poems for Funerals which has some very helpful readings. One of them which works for both religious and non religious people is this reading form the Book of Common Prayer. People find it comforting usually.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. Choosing the right Poems for Funerals can be tricky but if you would like to research further, have a look at www.finepoets.com where you will find many suggestions for Poems for Funerals.
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