Saturday, 24 October 2009

Music to Go By

An Anglican priest has, unwittingly, hit the newspapers for a blog about the secularisation (is that a word?) of funerals and how this is another area of life where the church is being marginalised. Unfortunately he mentioned Tina Turner in one sentence and this, somehow, caught the presses imagination. His original blog (well worth a read) is here:

http://sbarnabas.com/blog/2009/10/05/the-death-of-death/

and an example of the reaction here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6881679.ece

This has sparked many suggestions of music to go out by in the letters page of the Telegraph with suggestions ranging from Elvis singing Return To Sender to Led Zepplin's Stairway To Heaven (although apparently his wife thought it should be Queen singing Another One Bites The Dust.)

Personally I would like to go to the close of Part 1 of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius where the priest and friends sing:

Go forth upon thy journey, Christian soul!
Go from this world!
Go, in the Name of God the Omnipotent Father, Who created thee!
Go, in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Son of the Living God, Who bled for thee!
Go, in the Name of the Holy Spirit, Who Hath been poured out on thee!
Go in the name of Angels and Archangels;
In the name of Thrones and Dominations;
In the name of Princedoms and of Powers;
And in the name of Cherubim and Seraphim, go forth!
Go, in the name of Patriarchs and Prophets;
And of Apostles and Evangelists, of Martyrs and Confessors,
In the name of holy Monks and Hermits;
In the name of holy Virgins; and all Saints of God,
Both men and women, go! Go on thy course;
And may thy place today be found in peace,
And may thy dwelling be the Holy Mount
Of Sion: - through the Same, through Christ our Lord.


Great music and a fantastic affirmation of faith. What would your choice be?

2 comments:

Stori Lundi said...

I feel like I should give the stock Quaker answer of "silence". :)

I've always hated funerals. Not so much because I was saying good-bye to someone but that they just weren't "me". Needless to say, I completely disagree with the Rev that people need "Christian" funerals. I think people need whatever gets them through the grieving process. After all, funerals are for the living, not the dead. We all grieve in different ways. My father takes comfort in Ralph Vaughn Williams' Requiem and REM's "Everybody Hurts". Personally, I like Gorecki's 3rd Symphony "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs", but it's about 20 mins long and sung in Polish so I do not expect it to be performed at my funeral.

The best "music" I heard was listening to Friends share their memories of a beloved Member of my Meeting at her Memorial Meeting. It was a mixture of feelings of joy about her life and the sadness of her passing but it made us realize what a special and wonderful person she was and how blessed we all were for knowing her.

serenasnape said...

I don't know! After last night I'd be tempted to say Tim Hughes' "Happy Day" - so affirmational!