Accompany Them with Singing-The Christian Funeral  -     By: Thomas G. Long
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Accompany Them with Singing-The Christian Funeral

Westminster John Knox Press / 2013 / Paperback

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* A critique of how churches perform funerals! Countering the current trend that focuses on the mourner, Long says the goal of the service should be to commemorate a saint traveling to God, accompanied by the faith community on "the last mile of the way." Features historical, theological, cultural, and liturgical insights; and practical suggestions. 242 pages, softcover from Westminster John Knox.

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Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 242
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 0664239706
ISBN-13: 9780664239701
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Thomas G. Long, one of America's most trusted and thoughtful pulpit voices, provides a much needed theological and cultural critique of today's Christian funeral. Long begins by describing how the Christian funeral developed historically, theologically, and liturgically and then discusses recent cultural trends in funeral practices, including the rise in number of cremations and memorial services. He describes the basic pattern for a funeral service, details options in funeral planning, identifies characteristics of a "good funeral," and provides thoughtful guidance for preaching at a funeral.

But Long also notes a disturbing trend toward funeral services that seem theologically right and pastorally caring but actually depart from the primary aims of the Christian funeral. Long argues that the proper Christian funeral should be constructed around the metaphor of the deceased as a saint traveling on a baptismal journey toward God, accompanied by the community of faith on "the last mile of the way." He cautions that the cultural conditions for maintaining this view are under stress and a new, less theological and less satisfying metaphor that focuses on the mourner has begun to erode the Christian view. He contrasts the ancient grand community drama with today's trend toward body-less memorial services that focus primarily on the living and grief management, arguing that this is a loss for the church and calling for the church to reclaim the classic metaphor.

Author Bio

Thomas G. Long is Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and one of the most popular preachers in the United States today. The author of many books, he is the coauthor with Thomas Lynch of The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 10, 2010
    Mary thompson
    This is the best book I've read on dying. My husband is doing that right now and the book has come to me at the right time. It is academic and takes concentration and thought but it is well worth it not just for dying or funerals but for getting our theology straight. Refreshing way to see the facts.
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