I was thinking about death and funerals the other day.
Don’t freak out, this is not in any way an indication of something dire. I don’t expect to die for many decades. The Lord knows. I just would like to make sure that somewhere out there I’ve given a few instructions about what I would and wouldn’t like for my funeral.
1) I’d prefer that the visitation be the time when memories or reminiscing happens and that at the actual funeral a sermon is given, not a free for all of sharing. If one or two people who were close to me want to share a eulogy at the funeral, no problem, but I think the main place for that should be at the visitation.
2) I’d like the sermon to be a no holds bar presentation of the Gospel, complete with a picture of heaven and hell.
3) I’d like plenty of singing. As much as people can stand. Must-have songs (as of now) are: It is Well, In Christ Alone, Fly to Jesus (not sure that’s the actual name of it). Special music would be great.
4) If there’s a reception afterwards with food, (I don’t care whether there is or isn’t, but if there is) I want there to be laughter. Some of my fondest memories with cousins were at funeral receptions for my grandmothers. I hope any kids who were at the funeral feel freed up to enjoy the reception.
5) If part of people’s reminiscing is negative, I don’t mind. I’m a sinner. I’m certain that my sins have effected people in unhappy ways. If people need to work through this, I hope they feel they can talk about my sinfulness, with an understanding of God’s grace.
6) I hope the funeral is sad, with a strong undercurrent of hope. Funerals are supposed to be for mourning and sadness. Stuffing the sad part in favor of a “she’s in a better place” smile, if it’s not what’s actually felt, is fake. Feel the sadness, feel the hope. Sorrowful, yet rejoicing.
7) I don’t care what happens to my body. If it’s buried, fine. If it’s cremated, fine. God formed me the first time around and He can form back together whatever remnants of my body remain on the last day.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Do you have any particular funeral instructions? Have you thought about it?