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What do you want your funeral to look like?

OK, some of you will find the blog title to be a morbid question. Who wants to think about death? But on the other hand, who wants to slouch through life never having realized your purpose? I think that if we’d view our lives through the lens of our eventual funeral, we’d live more intentionally …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
OK, some of you will find the blog title to be a morbid question. Who wants to think about death? But on the other hand, who wants to slouch through life never having realized your purpose? I think that if we’d view our lives through the lens of our eventual funeral, we’d live more intentionally and be a lot less afraid of death.
Too many funerals are dreary affairs. Graham Cooke described the funeral of Amy Crone, a young lady in his congregation. She wouldn’t let them do a typical church service to say goodbye. Reading Cooke describe it, I thought, “That’s perfect – that’s the way I’d like to go out!” Read his description and let me know if you agree.

The funeral was outrageous. Typical of the Crone family. It was a
masterpiece of prophetic pioneering spirit. They set a whole new trend
in graveside committals. No memorial church service, Amy would hate
that. Instead a small number of family and friends met at the cemetery.
We were all instructed to be dressed casually. Lots of jeans, bright
colors, no formal wear. Two stretch limos pulled up and out popped the
Crone family. A lone piper played Amazing Grace as they pulled two ice
chests out of the trunk.

We gathered around Amy’s coffin as David and Deborah spoke movingly
of Amy’s life. Lots of laughter and tears as people told story after
story of this irrepressible young woman whose passion for God and life
could never be dampened no matter how hard life became for her. We
hooted with laughter and blinked away tears at the same moment. We were
all given pink flowers to hold (thanks Amy) and spread over the coffin
in last goodbyes.

Champagne and cider came out of the chests as we toasted the life of
a loyal, sassy, individualist, free spirit who no doubt is teaching
King David how to really dance before the Lord. Bill Johnson gave a
short and moving address on the importance of mourning properly…to let
both joy and sadness move in you…to suppress neither because that’s
harmful, but always let joy have the last word each day. He exhorted
and encouraged us to be true to who God is and to contend always for
Life. Amen to that.

Of course funerals are a time for corporate mourning. But as followers of Jesus, we have to be happy for the home-going of a fellow believer. Amy’s legacy was that of a life-bringer. It’s fitting that her funeral should leave room for a celebration of that fact. How about you – what do you want your funeral to look like?

Comments (5)

  • I have thought about it only because I want to build my own casket. I want to make it out of metal and it will be chrome. The song might be “Another one bites the dust” by Queen while everyone drinks a beer. But it will be good time of celebrating a life well lived.

  • Gotta be cremated…want the fire, gotta have the fire! and then big party for everyone afterwards, no sad faces just dancing, laughing and celebrating the truth of what Jesus has done and that Ive just “moved house” and everyone will be seeing me sooner or later.

    Awesome time! Here is a poem I wrote about it years ago:


    It’s getting closer- each breath that I breathe, each day that I live
    It’s drawing nearer- cant you see the signs, open up your eyes
    The preperations are being made
    The wine will flow and the food out laid
    It will soon be that day……

    Ther’s a party going on in heaven
    Those washed in His blood
    Have been invited to come
    There’s a party going on in heaven
    But it wont start
    Until this broken heart Is there

    Its getting closer- fear in the hearts, where darkness imparts
    It’s drawing nearer- tears in their eyes, but they soothe them with lies.

    Life Everlasting, the gift He has given
    Rejected by some but you’ll see me in heaven
    It will soon be that day

    There’s a party going on in heaven
    I will dance with the Son
    Now the race has been run
    There’s a party going on in heaven
    With my voice I will sing
    Praise to the King of All

    Standing before His thrown
    Fear all gone, when His brightness shone
    Gazing in His face
    Love overflows
    It’s my heart that He knows
    I will hold His wounded hands for real
    When He leads me to the wedding meal
    My whole family will be there
    Brothers and sisters all to share
    I cant wait for that day!
    There’s a party going on in heaven……

    Not that I think about it much 🙂

  • I love it – I already wrote some thoughts down to leave behind for my family, should the unthinkable happen and I quit this earth early and unexpectedly!
    Lots of colour, lots of music, lots of life, but also space for the people closest to me. I know how hard it is to cope with loss and they’ll need space to grieve in there too.

    But I have sooooo many crazy stories of funerals I have played piano for or sung at in my career……you wouldn’t believe the half of them! But one springs to mind reading all these cremation comments above…..

    A lovely old lady from our church died and her daughters insisted on having “her all time favourite Christian song” just at the moment the curtains come around in the crematorium and the coffin goes off into the flames. We tried really hard to dissuade them, but they insisted and….well…..it was their funeral!!

    As the moment came, we began to sing the verse “colours of day dawn into my mind……” and the vicar could hardly contain himself. Then the chorus struck up: “light up the fire and let the flame burn, open the door let Jesus return……”

    It was the funniest thing!! They said afterwards they think they made the wrong choice actually………!!!!!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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