After I've sung at funerals and listened to the eulogies, I often wish that I could have met the deceased. So many had lived interesting lives and made such an impression on people. Two recent funerals spring to mind.
Firstly a lovely Dutch lady, who spent time in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) during WW2, and was interred there by Japanese. After settling in the UK and having children no matter how hard her son tried to get more details from her about that period of her life, she didn't want to talk about it. I suppose the ordeal she would have gone through meant it's best left behind and she wished to move forward.
Who exactly is a funeral for? This may seem an obvious question, but the answer isn't quite so straightforward. We believe a funeral service should celebrate a life well lived, offering the family and those who attend the chance to remember, to reflect as well as say goodbye. Therefore, the choice of music, readings and tributes should reflect their choices.
When choosing hymns for a funeral service it's often difficult to know where to start, as there are so many hymns to choose from. We've sung at many Catholic funeral masses and funeral services, so here's some help for choosing funeral hymns.
One of our favourite funeral hymns is 'And did those feet in ancient times', otherwise known as 'Jerusalem'.
The text is from a short poem by William Blake, written in 1804 and published in 1808. The poem featured in the preface to his epic 'Milton-a Poem', one of a collection of writings known as the 'Prophetic Books'. The most common interpretation of the poem is that a visit by Jesus would briefly create heaven in England, in contrast to the 'dark Satanic Mills' of the Industrial Revolution.
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