When you take funerals as I do, you soon discover that though it might sometimes seem otherwise we are surrounded by Saints. I have buried hundreds of them!
Often when I go and see families they will speak of their loved one describing all that was good about them. Sometimes though gaps will appear in the story, or I can sense that something has been left unsaid, and so will gently probe a bit deeper. They might then tell me but then add “But we don’t want that mentioning at the funeral.”
What they’re doing is I think wanting to present the person who has died in the best light. Telling me what was good in their life rather than dwell too long on what wasn’t.
Of course that’s important. Funerals are not so much for the one who has died as for those who are left behind. And so remembering all that was good in someone’s life helps punctuate the inevitable sadness with thanksgiving.
However I’m also there to help them be honest and remind them that these edited highlights are certainly not for God’s benefit, the one ‘from whom no secrets are hidden.’ Perhaps that’s where All Souls Day comes in later this week.