Death, Where Is Thy Dignity? by Robbie Low

Death, Where Is Thy Dignity?

Robbie Low on Pastoral Rigor Mortis

My wife always says that if she were a bishop (she is, I should make clear, the editor of a magazine founded in opposition to such things), her first move would be to spend a week, sitting anonymously, at the back of the chapel of the local crematorium. This, she believes, would, at a stroke, tell her more about her clergy than almost anything else.

There she would learn several things in a very short space of time:

• Has this priest done his homework? Has he spent time with these people so that he has some hope of leading their hearts in worship?

• Does he make any connection with them before, during, or after the service?