Colourful Funerals

Charles Cowling

 

Posted by Belinda Forbes

 

As a secular funeral celebrant, I’ve noticed a growing trend for colour at funerals – this could be a general request to wear bright colours or a suggestion to wear something in a particular colour.  At one young man’s funeral, the theme was yellow: as well as people wearing yellow ties and scarves, there were yellow flowers covering the coffin; each person who spoke held a sunflower and we all sang Coldplay’s Yellow.  At another, the coffin was purple and adorned with purple feathers and balloons – the mourners were dressed in shades of lilac and purple.  

This can, of course, be fraught with difficulties – many people take great comfort from tradition and the “respect” of wearing black.  Six people carrying the coffin wearing Man U shirts with the deceased’s name on the back is not for everyone.  And what about the people who didn’t realise that the dress code was “wear something red”?  Suddenly the respectful black tie looks out of place.

However, as I look out from the lectern, it is surprisingly moving to see all the men wearing pink ties.  As we become used to each funeral being a unique and personal event, we will make sure to find out if there is a dress code.  Instead of feeling uncomfortable in our colourful clothes on a drizzly day outside the crematorium, we can feel proud that we are honouring the wishes of the person whose life we are there to commemorate.

 

Belinda Forbes is a secular celebrant working in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey. Her website is:

www.thinkceremonies.com

3
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
gloria mundiJonathancharles Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
gloria mundi
Guest

Persistent, not boring, Jonathan. We need to keep saying it. Put the ceremony at the centre of your thinking, choose people who’ll help you to achieve what you want, and don’t just think funeral = crem. If that message gradually spreads, a lot of things about funerals would get better. But even celebrants sometimes put out info that suggests they always expect a funeral to be in a crem.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“I do posess a pink tie as a matter of fact,” said the funeral dirctor to me when I told him about the pink theme, “but I certainly won’t be wearing it.” Well, all I can say is the family picked the wrong funeral director, and if they’d come to the ceremony arranger (me) first, they’d have been sure to find an undertaker only too happy to respect them by wearing the colour of their choice (I can think of two in walking distance from my house). They could have got a pink coffin if they’d wanted one, too, even… Read more »