Funeral Poems, Readings, Music, Quotations & Thoughts

XVIII If Grief Could Burn Out

A short poem by Philip Larkin first published in The North Ship in 1945 with no title but the number XVIII If grief could burn out Like a sunken coal The heart would rest quiet The unrent soul Be as still as a veil But I have watched all night The fire grow silent The grey ash soft And I stir the stubborn flint The flames have left And the bereft [...] Read more

What is a good death? Ritual, whether religious or not, still counts

A thoughtful article in the Guardian about modern funerals, religious and otherwise, by an anthropologist studying the activities of the British Humanist Association. I was struck by this: Many of the families that humanist celebrants serve have no idea what [...] Read more

St Anthony's Blessing

A very old Blessing, the words are said to have been given by St Francis of Assisi to St Anthony of Padua 800 years ago: May the Lord bless you and take you into his keeping; May He show you His countenance; and take pity on you; May He turn His eyes towards you and give you His peace. [March 2013] I put that in my blog in May 2012 but it seems I [...] Read more

An Irish Lament

I was taking the funeral of an Irish woman recently and we were thinking of music which would reflect the Irish heritage that the family all wanted to remember. This is a tune which we didn't use, a wonderful calming piece for meditation, a song so beautiful in its sorrow that it is almost joyful. The Chieftans playing Women of Ireland.