Z Ruminates (not literally; I am not a cow)

When I read all the words of the second hymn, I considered the small party of people from the local old people’s home who had, unexpectedly, joined the congregation this morning and wondered if it was a bit lacking in tact or might be rather a comfort (the third verse isn’t in our hymnbook). It was recommended with the reading this morning and the tune (Sibelius’s Finlandia) is lovely.

Mind you, I quite appreciate the idea of Christianity offering solace and encouraging fortitude rather than constant joy and happy-clappiness. I think that’s quite unrealistic and likely to put some people off completely. I said once here that one of the hymns I’d like for my funeral is this one which, similarly, asks for support through the difficulties of life rather than expecting them to be swept away – which ain’t going to happen and nor does the Bible suggest that they can or should be.

Mind you, I have some problems with those who think that everything can be put right through faith and prayer – it depends, for one thing, on your definition of ‘put right’ –

The mouse that prayed for Allah’s aid
Blasphemed when no such aid befell.
The cat that feasted on that mouse
Thought Allah managed vastly well.

– as Saki put it (forgive me if I’ve made any mistakes; I haven’t looked it up to check).

14 comments on “Z Ruminates (not literally; I am not a cow)

  1. martina

    Here most funerals seem to have Amazing Grace as the main hymn. I’d like that and Somewhere Over the Rainbow played. Ever heard Israel Kamakiwiwole (sp?) version? Very beautiful. Z-your choice of hymn is excellent. What other songs would you want played/sung?

    Reply
  2. Z

    Most of the hymns I have to play at funerals are some of the ones I like least. All things Bright and Beautiful for instance, or The Old Rugged Cross, or Abide With Me. Otherwise, people (usually slightly younger ones) have asked for particular music on CD, which is often wildly unsuitable like My Way or Bat out of Hell.

    I regularly change my mind on another hymn. It doesn’t much matter as I haven’t actually told my family – I have told them not to have All Things B&B, but they probably weren’t listening. I’ll haunt them if they do though.

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  3. Dave

    Don’t worry, Z. I’ll let them know you really wanted it.

    Oddly, my sermon for next Sunday says something along the lines of Christians who walk around with a big grin on their face all the time haven’t understood what life’s about. Probably a bit more tactfully than that.

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  4. Sarah

    happiness, I think, comes from within not without and the sooner people realise that to accept a ‘bad’ situation, and move on, the happier they will be!

    Funerals…not thinking that far ahead!

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  5. Z

    Very odd. The oddest I went to was a non-religious service where most of the music dated from the 30s and 40s – her favourite popular songs and dance music of her youth.

    It was Peter Sellars who chose ‘In the Mood’ for his funeral because it was the piece he hated most and he wanted it as a final joke.

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  6. luckyzmom

    I was going to say ‘amen’, but after reading all the comments I’m not sure why.

    “You’ve Got A Friend” would be my choice. As well as “He Walks With Me”.

    Reply

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