The Sacredness of Funerals

In the last year, I have attended more funerals than I could have ever imagined. I stood in a santuary with many colleagues and friends as we said goodbye and commended our friend Ben to God’s care. I stood around our friend Rachel’s casket my arms draped around several of our friends. I laid on my couch and watched online as Stephanie was laid to rest. And I processed in with our friend’s family as they said goodbye to their beloved husband, father, son, brother etc.

I was once taught that funerals are not for those who have died. But instead funerals are for those still left here on earth. Funerals are for the living. Funerals allow a space for families and friends to grieve and say goodbe. In the words of this quote, “It’s not over when the funeral is done and everyone goes back to their lives. That’s when the journey down grief highway begins.”

The truth is that life will never be the same without the person we lost. Yet the reality is that we must put one foot in front of the other and live each day remembering and knowing that our loved one is watching over us and walking with us. Yet that can still be hard to do at times.

But funerals are a gift to all of us. Funerals allow us to grieve together as a community. Funerals hold a sacredness that continually reminds us of the promises given us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. “Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there.” In other words, life not death has the ultimate word.

One day, we will be reunited with our loved one in heaven. I couldn’t help but think of Matthew West’s song “Save a Place for Me.” The lyrics read as follows: “Don’t be mad if I cry; It just hurts so bad sometimes; ‘Cause everyday it’s sinking in; And I have to say goodbye all over again; You know I bet it feels good to have the weight of this world; Off your shoulders now; I’m dreaming of the day when I’m finally there with you; Save a place for me; Save a place for me; I’ll be there soon; I’ll be there soon; Save a place for me; Save some grace for me; I’ll be there soon; I’ll be there soon; I have asked the questions why; But I guess the answer’s for another time; So instead I’ll pray with every tear; And be thankful for the time I had you here; Save a place for me; Save a place for me; I’ll be there soon; I’ll be there soon; Save a place for me; Save some grace for me; I’ll be there soon; I’ll be there soon.”

Click Here to Head to the Grieving Well Landing Page

Linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra Linkup and Mary and Tell His Story.


12 thoughts on “The Sacredness of Funerals

  1. This is so good. Funerals are a gift. Eight years ago today we had a memorial service for my Mom here in Texas. It was her third one and each was unique and special – just like her. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I know there is much value in funerals for those who are hurting and grieving (for an individual or even a family). But, I never reallly considered the benefit of grieving as a community. That is a precious idea.

  3. So timely. We just attended a service for a young man who took his life (extremely unexpected, even for his family). It provided our church family and our broader community some perspective we badly needed. Also, a platform for his mother to say what she desperately needed to say. And, yes, a time to mourn together. Quite sacred.

    Thanks for your post, Tara! I came by way of #TellHisStory.

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