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Quotes of the week

01 December 2023


There should be a party or gathering afterwards to honour each remarkable life with all its ups and downs, to help those left behind. Knowing how to live well is an art but so too is knowing how to depart and we should resurrect it

Alice Thomson, The Times, 28 November

People are not just becoming increasingly distanced from the traditional means of comfort and hope offered by the Christian funeral; many people say they don’t want any sort of funeral at all. It is shocking to discover that death may be seen as expensive, time-consuming and irrelevant, and that it is better just to move on

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, foreword to the report Love, Grief, and Hope, published by Theos, 27 November

Since they are not so visible, [modern difficulties] operate like
anaesthesia or like the carbon monoxide of old stoves that silently kills. Throughout history, human weakness, the unhealthy search for oneself, comfortable selfishness, and ultimately, concupiscence that lurks within all of us, are always present

Pope Francis, message to symposium dedicated to his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium

Paradoxically, the multi-faith room is potentially a less inclusive place than the old airport or hospital chapel. Contrary to the imaginings of some secularists, people of no faith do often appreciate the existence and availability of spaces deemed sacred by others. It is difficult to imagine many people without faith wanting to spend time in a space deliberately desacralised so that it is suitable for any and all believers

Francis Young, The Critic, 27 November

Prophets study the present and paint the consequences of taking our present actions to their logical conclusions. They read the signs of the times and say “Those things which have happened at other times and in other places could happen here, too. You’re not immune.” We might call them prophets of doom, but, in fact, they’re prophets of hope, because what they tell us is that there’s still time. The doom they portray isn’t here yet, and the signs they identify remind us that it’s possible to change

Isabelle Hamley, theological adviser to the House of Bishops, Thought for the Day, Radio 4, 28 November

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