Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Conduct Gospel-Centred Funerals

This book is part of a helpful series of practical guides to ministry. If you've never done a funeral and you are just starting out in ministry, then this book could be a really useful resource.

Written for an American market, it still has lots of hints and tips that apply in a UK context. However, you will need to find someone who can help you put it into a UK context if you are untrained in conducting funerals.

Of course the best advice and old hand can give to a novice is to trust the funeral director to help you be in the right place at the right time. I've always found them really helpful, and they have much more experience that I do!

There are a few concerns about the book. The section on choosing music seems to place the responsibility with the minister to vet all possibilities and although one is encourage to accommodate the family's wishes, the emphasis is upon music that promotes the gospel as far as possible. I take a rather different position. I see the funeral as a reflection of the personality of the one who has died and a time for the family to remember them and choose music that fits with those memories. I've yet to have felt the impulse to veto an choices made by the family.

Doing funerals is one of the privileges of ministry, and the responsibility is not to taken lightly. Weaving the story of God's grace and the good news of Jesus into the service can be a challenge. This short book will help you think these thing through as well as help you consider the practical side of this important ministry.

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