A City Girl, a Country Funeral

graveyardI am a city girl. Despite the fact that I grew up on small Air Force bases across Canada, and my first ministry setting was a village in Southern Ontario, and I now serve a suburban church, I am really a city girl. This was brought home to me yesterday when I did a funeral for a colleague, whose ministry is in a rural area.

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the funeral. A dearly loved mother, grieving family , extended family and community. Words of remembrance, gifts of music, words of scripture and hope proclaimed, food offered.

What came as a surprise was finding out that a grandson had dug the cavity in which his grandmother’s ashes would be placed. And the committal was held up for a few minutes as they had neglected to bring the shovel with them to cover it in again, and someone ran home for one.

Being a city girl, all the committals and burials I have done have been in cemeteries that are owned by funeral homes. Even the smallest cemeteries have had professional staff to open and close graves. But this graveyard belongs to the church; I presume volunteers look after it and that the task of digging a grave often falls to family members.

There was something touching and intimate about that final act.

And that’s my window on God’s world.

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