June 1992

RW 24
THEME: Funerals
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • A Japanese student describes how he was first led to Christ when he attended the funeral service of the daughter of Kanzo Uchimura (1861-1930), one of Japan's leading Christian figures. At the end of the service, said the student,

    Uchimura rose and said, "She had come of marrying age. If she had remained on earth, we would have had to worry about her wedding. But I believe that Jesus has called her to heaven as his bride. This is not her funeral; it is her wedding."

  • In a funeral service, as in any service of worship, well-chosen music can aid sorrowing people to lift their hearts to the God of all comfort. The community of mourners unites in song to express its sorrow and grief to the Man of Sorrows, and to rejoice in the gift of life from the One who has died. In song the mourners express together the faith that is the foundation of their recovery and renewal in hopeful living.

  • As the organist plays the prelude, friends and relatives enter quietly and take their seats in the pews. The coffin rests in the front of the church. The minister and family wait in the rear.

    The music shifts from the prelude into a quiet processional, signaling the minister to lead the family into the sanctuary. As they make their way down the center aisle, the minister reads three Scripture passages loudly and forcefully, as if banishing the fear and power of death from the room:

    Tell Your Children

    September is a month of new beginnings for many churches. After a summer of travel and vacation, the community returns and seeks to be renewed through a new season of education and enrichment programs. "Tell Your Children/' a contemporary hymn that calls us as families and church family to retell "the Story" in the context of our covenant commitment with our God, is therefore very appropriate for September.

  • Book: Worship the Lord

    Edited by James R. Esther and Donald J. Bruggink. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1987. 85 pp. $3.95.