Action Alert!

"Funerals with a Custom Fit..."

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 11, 2004

That headline isn't mine; it comes right off today's story in the New York Times.

We're talking about these new-fangled, silly funerals-- er, "celebrations of life"-- replete with posters and videos of the deceased, where people get themselves cremated and their ashes are put into a ring for the widow (when she re-marries, I bet she pitches it), and where the festivities conclude with the releasing of doves and balloons. We read that Father Wasielewski of Phoenix opposes all this. Good, right? Ah, but here's Father's view of how to conduct such an event.

That does not mean a funeral mass has to be grim. In churches that allow it, Father Wasielewski, the industry critic, drapes the pews with balloons and crepe paper. "I try to leave grief out of the funeral," he sqid. "St. Paul says, "'Do not grieve unless you have no hope."
(Doesn't St. Paul say something more like, "We do not grieve as those who have no hope"?)
At the service, he said, he tells relatives and friends of the dead: 'How many of you think George here went to hell?' No hands go up. 'Went to Heaven?' All hands go up. "So, let's have celebration. We don't want anyone grieving."

And then, comes this priceless line:

If anyone's going to grieve, we'd like them to leave right now."

Does this priest need a new line of work, or what?

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