by Andrew Lansdown
A fortnight ago I conducted a funeral for a friend. It was a graveside service and I stood at a lectern at the head of the coffin in which my friend’s body lay. The coffin rested on three chromed bars bridging the two-metre drop of the grave.
At the conclusion of the service, I spoke the words of committal: “Forasmuch as it has pleased almighty God in His great mercy to take out of this world the soul of our dear brother … we therefore commit his body to the elements, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust …” As I spoke these words, the six pallbearers lowered the coffin into the grave and out of sight.