Accompany Them with Singing--The Christian Funeral

Accompany Them with Singing--The Christian Funeral

by Thomas G. Long


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Thomas Long begins this fascinating volume by describing how the Christian funeral developed historically, theologically, and liturgically, and then discusses recent cultural trends in funeral practices, including the rise in both cremations and memorial services. He describes the basic pattern for a funeral service, details options in funeral planning, identifies characteristics of a "good funeral," and provides thoughtful guidance for preaching at a funeral.

Long also notes a disturbing trend toward funeral services that seem theologically right and pastorally caring, but actually depart from the primary aims of the Christian funeral. He argues that a new, less-theological and less-satisfying service that focuses on the mourner has begun to erode the Christian view. He contrasts the ancient grand community drama with today's trend toward body-less memorial services that focus primarily on the living and grief management. This is a loss for the church, he argues, and he calls for the church to reclaim the classic metaphor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780664239701
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication date: 04/24/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 586,857
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Thomas G. Long is the Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Part 1 Background

1 Marking Death: Human Rituals, Christian Practices 3

2 On Bodies Shunned and Bodies Raised 21

3 The Future of the Dead in Christ 37

4 Whatever Happened to the Christian Funeral? 57

5 The Funeral as Worshipful Drama 77

Part 2 The Church's Ministry in Death

6 In the Hour of Our Death 107

7 The Marks of a Good Funeral 121

8 Planning the Funeral: Practical Matters 141

9 Telling the Truth about Life and Death: Preaching at Funerals 183

Appendix: Difficult Funerals 197

Notes 203

Index 215

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