A sea of black

I was at a funeral today. I had been asked to help out setting up the sound desk to play some cds through and mic up a singer and guitarist who were doing a tribute song.

You’ve probably already surmised that it was the funeral for a young person and Ross was just over eighteen when his car (which he had been licensed to drive for around 2 weeks) came into intimate contact with a tree, killing him, the sole occupant. The tree was on the other side of a sharp corner after a very long straight on a back road near me.

I can’t remember seeing the church so busy. Pretty much full downstairs and very busy in the gallery. Probably well over 500 people there, mostly young adults. The couple playing the tribute song were, I thought, very brave. Paul, the guitarist, was excellent. Josie is a beautiful singer and only lost it a little towards the end. The song they sang was “Hear you me (May angels lead you in)” (video here) and it was, I thought, a beautiful and fitting tribute. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

There were a couple of traditional hymns as well and one of them provided a major ‘cringe’ moment. The hymn was ‘One more step along the road I go’. The second verse begins:

“Round the corner of the road I turn,
More and more about the road I learn…”

It doesn’t really get any better either. I couldn’t help but reflect on the irony of the song given the circumstances of Ross’s death. It’s up there with ‘Colours of day’ at a cremation for cringe-factor (if you don’t know the song, look up the lyrics and you’ll see why).

That said, the whole funeral was sensitively handled with a good balance struck between allowing what friends and family wanted with the recognition that it was still a Christian service. Ross’s grandfather is an elder in our church but I’m not aware of any other church connections in the family.

And a final observation.

Wearing black to a funeral is very traditional and respectful. Given the age group of most of those gathered though, ‘something black’ generally meant ‘little black dress/skirt’.

I’m sure Ross would have approved.

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