Yesterday I went to a most uplifting funeral. I know “uplifting” and “funeral” are not words commonly found together but it’s a fitting description of this funeral.
The deceased was the Human Resources person at the company where I worked. I knew she was older than me but I was a little surprised to learn she was born in 1925. She stayed very active until the end.
The funeral was held at the Baptist church she attended. She taught the third-grade Sunday School class and the former pastor who preached the funeral asked those who had been in her class to stand. They were assorted ages … young boys and girls to adults. Then he asked those who had had children or grandchildren in her class to stand. It seemed like half the congregation stood up. He stressed how she was concerned that those third-graders learn to know the Lord. Many of them did come to the knowledge while in her class.
The current pastor also spoke at the funeral. He stressed that while it was a time of grief for the people in attendance, for Bernice it was a time of rejoicing because she was at last in heaven with the Savior she had loved so well.
The woman sitting next to me told me that Bernice had gone to the viewing last Friday for another woman from the church who had passed away. She fell down the stairs at the funeral home and was taken to the hospital. She died Saturday morning. My seatmate said their church is going to really miss both women. She pointed out the husband of the other woman to me.
One reason the funeral was so uplifting was the music. When I got there, the pianist was playing all these wonderful old hymns, songs you seldom hear any more. She also played some of the worship choruses we used to sing when I was much younger. They were just very encouraging. A men’s trio sang “How Great Thou Art” and then later in the service one of them sang, “I dreamed that I went to the city called Glory, so bright and so fair …”
Another thing I appreciated was the former pastor inviting anyone who was there who had not come to Christ to do so. He outlined how to be saved (as taught in the Baptist church) and encouraged them to take those steps. He felt this was the least Bernice would want him to do. He also mentioned that when he visited Bernice in the rehab center after a knee replacement surgery, she was wearing a purple robe. When he commented on her pretty purple robe, she replied, “I always wear a purple robe because I’m royalty. I’m a child of the King.”
What a great attitude she had and what a tribute her funeral was to her.