Charles Cowling

 

Michael Sadgrove (@Sadgrovem)

18/10/2012 18:38

At funeral undertakers push coffin in & out of Cathedral in procession on a trolley. Don’t deceased deserve dignity of pallbearers any more?

 

Michael Sadgrove is the Dean of Durham Cathedral. Hat-tip: Tony Piper

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Colin Fisher
7 years ago

We always carry no matter how large the person and my bearers are more than willing to do so.
If the person is very large we use 6-8 bearers awith no extra expense to the family.

Ru Callender
7 years ago

We employ no bearers, it is always the family who carry their dead. How can it fall to anyone else?

sweetpea
sweetpea
7 years ago
Reply to  Ru Callender

Well, I suppose people do need external help when there just isn’t anyone else.

Perhaps it’s just the way these patterns emerge, but in the last few months I’ve been involved in quite a few funerals where there has been only a frail widow/widower and one or two very elderly friends to attend the deceased. Where a person and their spouse are each an ‘only child’, with no children of their own, for instance, or have removed themselves/been removed from society for whatever reason. It happens. How much better to have a life leading to something like Elizabeth Smither’s vision…

sweetpea
sweetpea
7 years ago

I think we may have seen this before, but it bears repeating: A cortege of daughters A quite ordinary funeral: the corpse Unknown to the priest. The twenty-third psalm. The readings by serious businessmen One who nearly tripped on the unaccustomed pew. The kneelers and the sitters like sheep and goats. But by some prior determination a row Of daughters and daughters-in-law rose To act as pall-bearers instead of men. All of even height and beautiful. One wore in her hair a black and white striped bow. And in the midst of their queenliness One in dark flowered silk, the… Read more »

Lyra
Lyra
7 years ago
Reply to  sweetpea

sweetpea – this is beautiful. I have witnessed pall-bearers who were all women but on only one occasion. In fact it’s the only thing I can remember about this particular funeral.

David Holmes
7 years ago

This does seem the norm in certain parts of the country. In ours it would only ever happen if the deceased was exceptionally large – to maintain dignity, or if the family requested it.

Evelyn
7 years ago

Tweets can be a good vent for outrage – bit hard to shout it out at the funeral for real perhaps? Though their very impetuosity can also be the downfall of the Tweeter.

Vale
Vale
7 years ago

Begs the question about the propriety of tweeting in a funeral. O tempora, o mores!

Ru Callender
7 years ago

An absolute disgrace. We have never ‘trolleyed’ anybody in. It’s not Supermarket Sweep.

sweetpea
sweetpea
7 years ago
Reply to  Ru Callender

No indeed, Ru. One of the most affecting moments at a funeral is when the coffin is raised on high, especially when it’s bourne by those who loved the person – their grief is often written over their faces, along with the physical exertion it entails. It has the feeling of connecting with centuries old ritual. But perhaps I am out of step with most people when I find myself not particularly worried by the thought of a coffin being trolleyed in either. It depends on the circumstances, as David says. And if there are people who would like to… Read more »