I consider it a privilege to help bereaved
families create meaningful funeral
ceremonies. For men, women and
children alike, death often leaves us
speechless. Funerals, a ritual that has
been with us since the beginning of time,
are here to help us embrace the life that
was lived and support each other as we
Funerals provide us the time and place to
confront our pain. Healthy grief means
expressing our painful thoughts and
feelings. To heal in grief, we must shift
our relationship with the person who died
from one of physical presence to one of
memory. The funeral allows us to begin
that shift, for it provides a natural time
and place for us to think about the
moments we shared with the person who
has died, and invites us to focus on our
past relationship with that one single
person and to share those memories with
others, remembering and reflecting in a
service of tribute recognizing the
highlights and major events in the life of
the deceased and the unique
characteristics he or she most
|Regular churchgoers' pastors may be
unavailable, or ministers may have
congregations so large that they aren't
acquainted with every member. Sometimes my
funerals are for those who, by choice or
circumstance, have no regular pastor. Just
because they did not attend church doesn't
mean we can't celebrate the life that was. In a
sense, I become their pastor for a time. This is
the time when people are the most vulnerable,
and they need that care and compassion.
|What is dying?
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length she hangs
like a speck of white cloud just
where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars
as she was when I saw her.
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"There, she is gone!",
there are other eyes watching her coming
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying
“Death is nothing at all.
It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I,
and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is
untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we
are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy
way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear
no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me,
pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always
was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a
shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it
ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this
death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well with my soul."
Henry Scott Holland
Your Dallas Wedding Minister, Preacher, Chaplain, Rev. and Officiant.
|grandmother. It was a tough day, but I
was proud to speak at her service.
We called her Mamy. (rhymes with