Charles Cowling
There’s an interesting article in yesterday’s Guardian about funeral rites in the Church of England Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Here are some tasters: Life expectancy in Tudor England was mid thirties, and about a third of children died before attaining the age of ten. Mortality was very much in
Charles Cowling
Unbelievably, perhaps, this is a favourite song at Aussie funerals Have you been following the hullabaloo which greeted the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, when he restated Church rules on funerals and reiterated the ban on ‘secular items’ at funerals – romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political
Charles Cowling
It’s interesting to note that two of the most important drivers for change in modern funerals have come, not from pro-active consumers or wild-eyed visionaries,  but from urgent if mundane economic and environmental needs. They are, famously, natural burial and’ less famously, the held-over cremation. Ken West, for all that
Charles Cowling
A Good Send Off was the title of this year’s Centre for Death and Society (CDAS) annual conference. Well, part of the title – the snappy part. In full it read: A Good Send Off: Local, Regional & National Variations in how the British Dispose of their Dead. It took
Charles Cowling
I don’t know if you ever wander over to Death Matters. It’s a descriptive title for a website and blog which is trying to awaken in a death-denying people a full and informative awareness of their mortality – in order that they may live better and remember better. It’s a
Charles Cowling
I think we’ve all done some good hard thinking, over the last few months, about the value and role of the dead body at a funeral. The discussion of this, and other matters, has elicited some extremely interesting ideas and some statements which, to my eyes, look likely to become
Charles Cowling
Everyone agrees that choice in funeral arrangements is a good thing. Even the UK’s most Jurassic undertakers are nodding their heads fervently on this one. They’ve come round at last (sort of). It’s the mantra in Funeralland: Personalisation x 3 (I can’t be bothered to type it). There’s money in
Charles Cowling
From the Salt Lake Tribune: Brother Felix McHale, one of the founders of Utah’s 63-year-old Trappist monastery, was sent out of this world Tuesday the same way he lived: simply. After a funeral Mass in the chapel at the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, Felix was lowered into his grave
Charles Cowling
Interesting, isn’t it, how two contrary opinions need not be mutually exclusive? When one opinion does not displace the other you’re left either tonguetied with indecision or, if they merge, ambivalent. Ambivalence may be seen as fence-sitting, but I think that’s simplistic. To honour two opposed points of view equally