Since there appear to have been few visitors to my blog since I wrote about my cousin's Thanksgiiving Service, I am trying again to see if I can get a response to my one area of concern, and I am therefore repeating the particular paragraph today.
"I found it strange that the commendation and committal took place during the church service, before the final hymn ‘Love Divine, all loves excelling’ and that the coffin then went off to the crematorium in Harrogate without any family and not even the Minister! I was told that this was the usual practice in Ripon because of the distance between Ripon and the crematorium, but what happens when the deceased has no church connection and the family would not be happy with a church service like the one we had? Surely, they must go to the crematorium?"
Can any Ministers in rural areas tell me of the normal practice where their church is several miles away from the crematorium and whether the practice I describe is normal in their area, please? If Jackie had been a much closer relative, this could have been most distressing for us all. As it was, it just seemed a rather undignified way of ending the service and our connection with our cousin.
Back home here, one friend suggested that this practice could be 'illegal' and another suggested that I write to the Methodist Recorder to express my feelings about this strange procedure, but I prefer to air the subject in the Methoblogosphere. Perhaps this IS normal procedure in rural areas and we are just fortunate here to be able to choose either to have the whole Service at the Crematorium or, as we did when my husband died, to have a short service at the crematorium followed by a Thanksgiving Service in our church.