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No funeral is an ‘ordinary’ one, surely

by
23 May 2014

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From the Archdeacon of St Albans

Sir, - Few, surely, could fail to be moved by Sister Rosemary's account of the funeral service for Dr Denise Inge (Diary, 16 May). I am saddened, therefore, that she began by saying "this was no ordinary funeral," with the implication that some funerals are ordinary.

Like most ministers, I have conducted funerals ranging from occasions of intricate liturgy with soaring music and symbolism to quiet occasions at the crematorium attended by few mourners accompanied by piped music. No Christian funeral is ordinary, because it is a thanksgiving to Almighty God for the unique and distinct way each human being, created through his love, bears the divine image; and it is also an expression by the bereaved of the sanctity of human love being a sacrament of God's love.

JONATHAN SMITH
6 Sopwell Lane, St Albans AL1 1RR

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