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William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

I go to funerals. I know some people don't-- they find them morbid, or depressing, or they reckon the time to acknowledge someone is while the person is alive, or whatever, but I go. Given my upbringing and where I live the overwhelming majority of the funerals I attend are Catholic. This suits me also. Just about the only time a Catholic Mass in North America isn't overrun by people with guitars is at a funeral. The scent of myrrh and murmured prayers are still present at Catholic funerals, and that's what I like: if you are going to have a superstitious ritual it's nicer if it is cloaked in centuries of tradition. That's what's comforting in a funeral-- the ritual reminds us that the world is full of sorrow, and we all must endure it, and generations have endured it.

That's not good enough for some people, though. The Protestant tradition of eulogizing the dead has crept into the ritual. Friends and family members get up and say a few words, and the next thing you know a perfectly acceptable, albeit gloomy, rite has been transitioned into a new form. I don't want to hear about how the dead are in heaven looking down on me-- I want ashes to ashes.

Via Charley Pierce, Catholic Church bans footy theme songs at funerals. Interesting that the work of Freddy Mercury is so well represented.

| Comments:
I think my funeral should be some med students cracking wise while they dig through my innards. For music, whatever's on their iPods will do.
 
That more or less mirrors Phase One or Phase Two of what I have in mind, depending on when they want the parts. I want organ music and myrrh too, though. And a kegger later, when people can sing whatever they feel like.
 

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