Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Bishop of Chester criticises 'celebratory' modern funerals

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Rev Peter Forster, said that he “regretted” the tendency for families to have a small private burial or cremation followed by a larger commemoration of the deceased’s life.

He said it gave the impression that the body is not important, and that death was being denied.

The bishop added that some of the music and poems heard at funerals lacks the appropriate solemnity.

It comes after another Church of England cleric caused uproar by admitting that secular funerals left him feeling “like a lemon”.

Fr Ed Tomlinson complained that hymns and prayers were being replaced by a “poem from nan” and that he had better things to do than stand by as mourners listened to Tina Turner or Frank Sinatra.

In the May issue of Chester Diocesan News, Dr Forster said that his mind had turned to funerals having recently turned 60.

He wrote: “My mind has been concentrated by another experience, which is becoming more common: to go to a funeral, only to find that the cremation or burial has taken place earlier in the day, and the funeral has become a celebration of the deceased’s life. Read more No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.


Anonymous said...

What a snob! No cremation is complete without "I did it my way" by Sinatra; and "Simply the best" by Tina Turner.

Vilges Suola said...

Death denied? How so? It sounds as though it is being acknowledged as it always has been and always will be, except in ways he does not approve of. Who needs his approval anyway?

I wouldn't go for Frank or Tina myself, but chacun a son gout. I certainly don't want any maunering hymns, either.