Heritage, Music and Death: When Irish Eyes are Smiling

The other day, we listed songs, singers and directors from President John F. Kennedy’s funeral in 1963. This past Friday evening, Kennedy’s brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, was memorialized in a special televised tribute to his past before the burial that was slated for Saturday at Arlington National Cemetery. Z on TV wrote:

Understanding the Modern Christian Funeral

If you were asked to attend a Christian funeral, what can you expect? Without going into the history of Christianity, a few notes about Christian funerals can provide basics for those who are not Christians. Even if you are Christian, you may be a Catholic and the deceased may have been a Baptist. You may realize, in this latter case, that the Christian burial for the deceased may be a new experience for you.

Presidential Funeral Music

If the weather holds against Hurricane Danny, Senator Ted Kennedy’s burial is slated for this evening at Arlington Cemetery. While the news has been filled with information regarding the Senator’s death, honorary tributes to his life, interviews to gather various perspectives on political, friendly and family relationships and even information about where, exactly, the Senator is to be buried, little if anything has been said about the music that might be played during the funeral procession, during the Requiem Mass, or at Arlington Cemetery.

How to Write a Eulogy

My mother has already written her obituary, because she’s afraid that someone will mess that little piece of writing up and she won’t be around to correct it. But, she can’t write my eulogy for her, a task that could fall on my shoulders if I’m around when she passes on. You see, she can write what she wants in her obituary; however, she cannot write what I would want to say about her once she’s gone. The eulogy belongs to the person who delivers it, not to the deceased.

What is a Eulogy?

Did you know that eulogies often were written in high praise or commendation of a person? Today, eulogies most often are associated with funerals, but the word derives from the Greek eu, meaning a combination of “good” or “well” and “true” or “genuine” and logy, or a termination of nouns referring to writing. The eulogia in the Greek Orthodx Church was a blessing. Today, the eulogy is known as a speech or writing in honor of a deceased person.

The Christian Funeral Hymn

Although funeral hymns have been a necessity for religious funerals since the eighteenth century, in a sense there are no true funeral hymns. In other words, few if any classic hymns were written specifically for funerals. Instead, many hymns chosen for funerals are those that remind the family of the deceased, the deceased’s life or his or her beliefs.

The History of Funeral Cards

If you attended a funeral, you may have received a card – similar to a bookmark or the size of a playing card – that commemorated the deceased. Although these cards became popular in the 1880s, today they most often are issued by a funeral home or church. You may be surprised, however, that the history of these cards dates back to the invention of lithography in the 1700s, when the Catholic Church began to print and issue Holy Cards.

Non-Traditional Kids and Your Will

If you are making a will, or if you made one so long ago that you don’t remember what it contains, you may want to change that will to reflect your current conditions both financially and in the growth or diminishing rate of your family. If your family has grown, you may have included what are known as “nontraditional” children. These children would include children from previous marriages, adopted children and even illegitimate children. How can you provide for them in your will if you desire?

Football-Related Deaths: Should you worry?

It’s that time of year again, when parents gear their sons up to play football with twice-daily summer football practices. And, unfortunately, a football-related death due to heat (and, in this case, obesity) already has been reported. Should you worry about your sons and their participation in this time-honored high school sport?

The Open Casket Photograph

In Victorian times after photography was invented and before it became common for anyone to own a camera, a photograph of a corpse was a common occurrence. Even today, at some funeral homes, it isn’t uncommon for the family members to photograph Uncle Joe or Aunt Margaret as they lay in repose upon white silk. But, the practice is far less common now then it was in the early twentieth century, simply because it seems everyone today owns a camera.