I heard something on the radio in passing and I missed some of what was said but the point of it was that “the ability to hold a proper funeral is as close to a defense of human dignity as one can get”.  The discussion was held in terms of the politicization of everything from pro football to the weather and even funerals.  A recent funeral of Dick Gregory was evidently turned into a political rant by Maxine Waters whose only real claim to fame was getting Federal Disaster relief to South Central LA after a hurricane in the Northeast.  The funeral for Paul Wellstone was held up at as an example of another undignified political pep rally that broke into a funeral or vice versa.

I can’t blame political animals for using funerals as a platform for their ideology because their politics is literally their religion. The religious animals among us have used funerals as a good time happy hour extravaganza.  The funeral became a chance for every nephew and niece and cousin who can’t sing to come and sing.  It became a chance for every member of the family who fancied themselves as poets to write poetry and everyone who had a memory to stand up and stammer it out.  I wrote before that funerals today have become as one wag put it, like bringing a corpse to a concert.

The lesson on the radio was about a “proper funeral”.  I guess “proper” is in the eye of the beholder.  Talk to a funeral director who is dignified him/herself and ask about what funeral has become and you will be surprised.  So here as a public service is a definition of a proper funeral from one persons perspective which happens to be Christian.

It should begin in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit and end with the Benediction of Father Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus should be mentioned at least as often as the deceased.

It should emphasis the doing and dying of Christ more than the doing and dying of the deceased.

It should have a real sermon instead of a meditation (whatever that means).

It should be the liturgical end of a life that had a liturgical beginning in Baptism.

It should be the defense of the dignity of a human life because Christ valued it enough to hang on a Cross to redeem it.