I’ve been on a training weekend this weekend with my theological college (All Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry) and the focus has been Funeral Ministry. We have looked at different aspects of death and dying, and we have talked about the legal stuff, the theological stuff and the ministerial stuff. As you can imagine, it has been very intense and emotional for many reasons.
Funeral ministry is one of the areas of ministry that I feel most strongly called to, and as I’ve been processing things this weekend I’ve come to realise that it’s not just the actions and words leading up to the funeral that matter to me but the ministry to the bereaved afterwards too. There is so much more to be offered after the funeral to those who are grieving and suffering the pain of loss and it’s something that I look forward to developing and engaging with more and more as my ministry grows here in Blackley.
It won’t be long now, God willing, that I’ll be in that position of journeying with people through their experiences of loss and grief more, and to have the privilege of taking the funerals of their loved ones. If it is in your gift to do so, I would ask for your prayers for me, and for all who minister to the dying and the bereaved in whatever way they are called to do. It is a ministry that is often done privately, is often unspoken of by the public and is most often at an emotional cost to the minister. However, it is also the source of much fulfilment and even joy, because it is a chance to share the hope of life in God after this life has ended with those who have lost a loved one, and it is an honour to be standing on the holy ground of grief in the midst of so much love.
Grace and peace,