Interesting, thought provoking piece about Irish funerals in today’s Irish Times. The writer, Marie Murray, makes this observation: The extent of funeral attendance in Ireland often bemuses our neighbours in England.
She says: Funeral attendance is a statement of connection, care, compassion and support. It encircles those who grieve and enriches those who attend because it connects each person there to the profundity of living and the inevitability of death. Funeral attendees witness the raw emotions of grief and the extraordinary capacity of the human spirit to love.
And: Traditional Irish funerals have their own tone, history and vocabulary well documented in Irish literature, verse, story and song. They have their past and present rituals. They are comforting in their predictability.
And: There is consciousness in that line of sympathisers of the ineptitude and ineffectiveness of words.
I like that bit about the ineffectiveness of words. So many of our secular ceremonies are wall-to-wall words.
And: The funeral is the place where the details of the death are recounted, where memories are revived and connections made.
Lastly, There is psychological reason, social solidarity and cultural cohesion in funeral attendance
Read the entire piece here.