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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Why not try night funerals instead?


OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Why not try night funerals instead?

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To another he said, “Follow me”, but he said, “Lord let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him; “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. – St Luke 9: 59-60.

ONCE AGAIN I AM FORCED to revisit night funerals after NATION reporter Carol Martindale called me last week to find out whether my views on the subject had changed from the time I raised the issue over seven years ago. My answer remains the same.

The subject came to light again after it was confirmed that a significant number of working days were lost due to sick leave.

It was reported that absenteeism caused by real sickness was about 30 per cent; the remaining 70 per cent of sick leave was taken to attend to personal matters, such as bill payments, personal banking, child and elderly day care, and attending funerals, medical appointments and sports events.

To be honest some of those reasons cannot be avoided, but when it comes to funerals, there are not a must.

That is why I am advocating night funerals after 6 p.m. which will be your own time and not the employers’. It can be done; hold the funeral service after 6 p.m., with the burials being held the following morning. Do not tell me about cost. Funerals are very costly and we can do without some of these wakes (receptions) after the funeral; that is a cost and nobody complains.

We are talking about the Year of Productivity, yes, but we do lose a lot of production time when it comes to funerals.

Serious about productivity

Funerals are for the priests, family members, funeral directors, politicians and the gravediggers. Nobody else has to be there. There are some persons who must be at every funeral. I am sure that there are other ways that you can sympathise with family by attending the viewing the day before, sending a card, giving a call or email.

I have done funerals in the chapel at the Westbury Cemetery, with family having announced that there would be a private interment, and when the service was finished the public left and only the family members and I proceeded to the burial ground.

 If we are going to take productivity seriously, then the time has come to give night funerals a try for we leave Barbados and go to New York for funerals which are usually held at night. And the burials are done the next morning. Yes, we aretaking everything from New York. Why not try night funerals too?

Harvest programme

The annual harvest cantata of Ebenezer Methodist Church will be held on Sunday at 4 p.m. The church choir, Sunday school and worship team will take part.

Revival services

The annual revival services of the Fulnec Moravian Church, Watts Village, St George, take place from Monday to Friday next week at 7:15 p.m. each night under the theme Worship His Majesty. The Rev.Dr Adrian Smith, pastor of the Calvary and Grace Hill Moravian congregations, will be the preacher.   

Women’s Day

The women of St Martin’s Church and Rev. Amrela Massiah will be hosting a prayer breakfast for women as part of International Women’s Day, on Wednesday at The Crane Resort, St Philip, from 7:30 a.m. Guest speaker and prayer leader will be Rev. Marcelle Brathwaite of Belmont Methodist Church.


It is with great regret that we learnt of the death on February 17 of Denzil Robinson of Brooklyn, New York, and formerly of Prerogative, St George. He was buried on Tuesday after a funeral service at St Gabriel’s Church in the borough. He was 85 years old. This column expresses its sympathy to his wife and children. May he rest in Jesus Christ and rise in glory.