back to article Blogging vicar casts Tina Turner into hell

A blogging Tunbridge Wells vicar has caused a bit of a brouhaha by roundly condemning secular cremations where the dearly departed can expect nothing better than "a poem from nan combined with a saccharine message from a pop star before being popped in the oven with no hope of resurrection".* Father Ed Tomlinson, 35, of St …


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  1. NB


    As an Atheist I completely agree with the Priest. I certainly wouldn't want a member of the clergy at my funeral, they'd be utterly superfluous.

  2. Col 4


    ... I'd want "Going Underground" by The Jam, for me.

  3. Stef 4

    Couldn't agree more...

    "What is the point of my being present..."

    I whole heartedly agree. What is the point of you being on planet Earth?

  4. Duncan Hothersall
    Thumb Up

    As an atheist

    I think he makes perfect sense. He's not condemning non-religious ceremonies, he's saying that if that's what you want you should do it, rather than ask a priest to do a Christian funeral. Fair do.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Religion and the Empty Shell...

    Once the sole is departed, its an empty husk. Toss it in the rubish, No ceremony required.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    In the immortal words of Sir Henry Rawlinson....

    "These're the only spirits I want tormenting my body... (sniff) Personally, when you're dead you're gorn. Afterlife, aftershave, blugh! Don't hold with any of it."


    "I don't give a toss what you've done with me when I've shrugged off m' mortal coil... Shove a bit of flex up m' back passage, stick a lightbulb in m' mouth and stand me in the hall. (sniff) Mind you, if you're using electricity you'll have to dry me out first!"

  7. Gulfie

    That final tune at the end of the cerm service...

    ... it's GOT to be 'Blaze Away'!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8===D-- -.

    What a wanker.

  9. Cameron Colley

    The Bishop has valid point.

    It's not just funerals either -- there are people who must get married in a church despite not actually wanting any religious content.

    It is about time people stopped pretending to go along with sky pixie stuff unless they actually believe it, or they wish to at least properly represent those beliefs in the service for the benefit of loved ones -- having a humanist ceremony with no religious content and a few crap songs by TakeBoysApart in a church wit ha vicar present is a little hypocritical and disrespectful (well, I think so at least and I'm an atheist).

    Now I'll get back to composing my list of tracks for my funeral -- though I'm not sure if they'll appreciate "Help Me I'm In Hell" or "Six Feet Under Ground".

  10. richard 69

    welcome to chav britannia

    'you raise me up'? what the fuck??!!

  11. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Doesn't recognise a sales opportunity

    > stood at the Crem like a lemon, wondering why on earth I am present

    I have to say I don't have much experience of funerals (what with still being alive, 'n' all) but it seems to me that for most people, the funeral is about the people who are still living - not the guy[1] in the box. If this priest hasn't realised that in all the funerals he's done, I think he's missed the point of a lot of them.

    So far as why he's present, I'd hazard a guess that a lot of people think of him as a sort of "lucky mascot" or part of the occasion: just like a flash car, patronising sermon and drunk relatives are part of a wedding ceremony.

    At funerals, people also tend to get a bit reflective - thinking about their own mortality. If that isn't the prime time to put in a word for god, then I don't know what is. Maybe he should start asking himself if he's actually in the right job, as there doesn't seem to be much in the way of evangelical enthusiasm here, just a rather grumpy-sounding guy having a moan about the world not running in the way he thinks it ought to.

    [1] using the gender-neutral meaning of "guy" here

  12. Anonymous Coward

    All he seemed to be saying was...

    If your going to have a religous cremation do it properly. Seems fair enough to me.

    Flames, cos im sure alot of people round here will see it as him being in the wrong just for being a vicar.

  13. Jerome 0

    He's got a point

    Providing you forgive the guy for his somewhat brash method of delivering his point - which is surely somewhat of a liability in his profession - he's talking a lot of sense. If you don't believe in the great sky fairy, why on earth would you invite one of his minions to watch your loved one being incinerated?

  14. Jacques Kruger
    Thumb Up

    Are they just shy?

    I aggree with the Vicar. If you're not a Christian why would you want a Vicar there in the first place? I'm sure this is related to some shyness or a a stigma that requirees you to at least look Christian to your family at the time of a burial.

    For me, no vicar and no Tina Turner. I want to get stuck in the oven to the soothing sounds of AC/DC's "Higway to Hell"...

  15. Mr Templedene

    I want

    This song for my funeral

    But I can see the Rev's point, why have a religious figurehead at your ceremony if you then don't have any religious content in it.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    If he hates his job so much he should find a new one...

    Unhelpful, misguided and 'religious' (in a negative sense) yes, but hateful and biggoted no...

    I would also bet that the priest in question had no problem cashing all of the £90 cheques he's recieved from the undertakers for officiating..!

    I used to perform 2-3 funerals per week as an evangelicl (pentecostal) pastor and appart from one occasion when the wife of a suicide victim wanted me to play Sinatra, "I Did it My Way", I never saw my work as anything other than an absolute privilege and a grave commision.

    Indeed, I always encouraged the family to pick a piece of music to play and short of songs containing obscenity I would insist that absolutely anything was appropriate, because as well as comitting somebody to the grave a funeral is always a celebration of that persons life.

    As a Christian minister I would always preach a short eulogy where I made the Christian biliefs about redemption and the eternal state clear for those gathered, the death of a close friend or relative is often a catalyst for personal searching and questions and the church should gently and sensitively provide what answers it has, (I was never prevented from preaching a eulogy and so I was never in the position of having to decline to preside at a funeral).

    However, this part would take all of 5-10 minutes, and the rest of the time I would use to help the family / friends to commemorate, celebrate and mourn their lost one.

    I should also add that at £90 / funeral ther 2-3 I did per week provided the main part of my income as an unsalaried minister. Catholic / CofE / Methodist ministers can often double or tripple this number of ceremonies so when they start complaining about the 'clientele' they don't really have a leg to stand on.

  17. Winkypop Silver badge

    Religion eh?

    Who needs it?

    May as well pack it in fellas, He's not coming...

  18. Metal Marv

    There's only one song you need for a funeral....

    Living in a Box, by Living in a Box!

  19. James Cullingham

    @AC "Religion and the Empty Shell..."

    > Once the sole is departed, its an empty husk. Toss it in the rubish, No ceremony required.

    I take it you don't believe in Cod, then?

  20. Balefire
    Thumb Up

    I agree with him

    As an Athiest I feel that having any religious figure at my funeral would be hypocritical. Mind you, there wouldn't be much left of me to have a funeral over - I'm registered as a full organ donor and looking into how to donate what's left to science.

    As far as I'm concerned they can do whatever they want once I've finished with this body. I certainly wont be needing it again!

    I've chosen "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake as my parting tune.

  21. Naich


    No thanks. Just think - an eternity of doing stuff you've done an infinite number of times before. You would get bored of absolutely everything. Imagine getting bored of wanking! Sounds like my version of hell.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    That the majority of the comments so far aren't frothing anti-sky-pixie in content. And not a Gately comment in sight, which means that The Moderatrix must be working overtime!

    As an agnostic tending towards Zen, I don't want a priest at my funeral any more than I want an imam. I sympathise with him for being asked to attend / officiate, then being asked not to include "any of that God stuff" - WTF is the point, then? If the departed is a Xtian, get a priest to officiate and include God stuff. If they're not, don't. Simples.

    Oh, and the tracks would definitely not include any of the tripe akin to Tina Turner, WestLife and BoyZone. Some nice, melodic Rammstein ("Stirb Nicht Vor Mir" would be appropriate, perhaps - "Pussy" would be going to far, even for me!!), a touch of Alice Cooper ("Wicked Young Man", methinks) rounded off with "Voodoo" by Godsmack. The selection of music is pretty much your last chance to express your individuality, so choose some personal stuff that reflects you, y'know?

  23. Dave 145
    Thumb Up


    I was brought up the church for many years. Now i have the choice i dont do because for me religion is pointless. I'm not saying i dont believe in a god because there has to be a "higher power" or how did we come into existance, I mean the stuff that stareted life existed for millions of years, then suddenly came together.

    Anyway back to the point at hand, I got married in a church for the reason that as I believe in a "God" that a church was the best place for me personally. As for my funeral i am still undecided as to be buried or go out in flames (either cremation or on a big pile of wood) for either i think i would have a preist, and Rev Ed makes a good point that if there is no spirtual value then he should be made to go.

  24. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @AC "Religion and the Empty Shell..."

    I found that a bit harsh. Your body carries you around for decades, I don't see a problem with treating it with some respect once you've left it. I'm happy to donate most of my usable bits but I'd rather not have any med students play keepy-uppy with my brain or anything. (And yes I am an atheist etc etc)

    Aside from anything else it'd be a bit unfair on the binmen to just have yourself chucked in a wheelie. Imagine the back strain.

  25. Anonymous Cowardess

    For the living

    "Rather something real and significant is happening, on earth and in heaven, when these take place."

    Some people don't come out of fairy land when they grow up. That's why he doesn't get that funerals are for the living, not the dead.

  26. Evil Auditor


    If you are an atheist why do you give a damn shit who's attending your funeral? You'll have ceased to exist, you'll be just a bunch of carbon compounds, minerals and water. If you spread any wishes beyond your death you are just another whining hypocrite.

    It may not have reached your profane livelihood yet therefore take it from an agnostic: a funeral is primarily for the bereaved not for the deceased.


  27. Marvin the Martian
    Dead Vulture

    More preparation is needed.

    The choice is essentially between buying a pre-packaged CofE (TM) show, tweaked over the centuries to "standard", and hastily reinvent the ritual (to be compared, and found lacking, to the standard by such little men as here) at a time when life overwhelms you.

    Basically, if your family had the decency to prepare your funeral say half a year in advance (as weddings are done), you'd get a more personal and polished service. And you had a chance for a vote on music, nibbles, and invites.

    I put it to you it's your own fault if you lose friends over your shoddy wedding; but then, you wouldn't care anymore would you?

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah

    Re "I'm happy to donate most of my usable bits" - can I have first choice, please??

  29. Charles E

    It's The Bishop!

    I think the Vicar is just offended because Tina Turner is a Buddhist.

  30. Mike Richards

    Viking funeral

    Just put me on a boat piled high with all my consumer electronics and set light to it.

    After I'm dead (obviously).

  31. Anonymous Coward


    Silly Moderatrix, binmen don't lift wheelie bins up! The lorry does that for them. All they have to do is pull it close.

  32. mmiied

    @sarah bee

    ". I'm happy to donate most of my usable bits but I'd rather not have any med students play keepy-uppy with my brain or anything. (And yes I am an atheist etc etc)"

    too easy you are makeing it too easy

  33. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    I though cremations would be way down..

    .. with the large amount of booze everyone drinks. Too much combustion risk.

  34. Psmiffy

    Going down in a blaze of glory??

    would probably be my choice of song.

    Being a Christian I would rather just have them chuck me in the burner or something and go off and have a party, I mean really who wants to stand around mourning some dead piece of meat? I hate funerals they are such a waste of time, once you're gone, its over.

    Anyway, I am saving up some money for my dearly beloveds so they have have a good old party

  35. ElFatbob

    RE: Steve 70

    'Unhelpful, misguided and 'religious' (in a negative sense) yes,'

    Funny, i didn't read what he said in the article that way at all. Simple point came across to me - not religious? Don't have a religious component to your funeral. Other commenters seem to agree.

    'I would also bet that the priest in question had no problem cashing all of the £90 cheques he's recieved from the undertakers for officiating..!'

    Given your position, do you think it appropriate to cast aspersions on the character of a purported brother in the faith? Interesting interpretation of Scripture......

  36. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ Sarah

    Oh AC Whose Name I Can Still See, someone had to say it, I suppose.

    I intend to live at least into late middle age so, y'know, bear that in mind.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Cameron Colley

    Churches are beautiful buildings, singularly fit for holding wedding ceremonies. If I ever get around to marriage or whatever don't-upset-the-religiously-insecure term I'm supposed to use, I'd like it to be in a church.

    It's also very hard to find a decent secular MC, so I can even see the point in having a 'religious' marriage. Personally, I don't see any hypocrisy in any of the words apart from the fact the priest addresses god which, as no two people can ever agree on exactly what the word means, I can get around by defining it as something like "in all honesty, in front of everyone who's ever been important to me whether or not physically present".

  38. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    DIY Funerals!

    By the time I'm ready to cark it, I hope there are DIY funeral booths on street corners.

    You know a bit like those old instant photo booths...

    Step inside

    Draw curtain

    Adjust swivel seat

    Look into screen

    Insert ID card*

    Insert Credit Card

    Recite last will and testament

    Select music



    Instant incineration (carbon neutral of course)

    Done and dusted.

    Compacted ready for bin men.

    * sorry, but they WERE introduced afterall

  39. Scott 19


    Bring back being buried at sea. Take a boat out into the big blue yonda, get the captain to say a few words, then plop your fish food.

  40. Admiral Grace Hopper

    @Sarah Bee

    "I intend to live at least into late middle age" ...

    Unfortunately you don't get to choose.

    Having spent some time being dead (many thanks to the West Midlands Ambulance Service, logn may you carry on reviving!) I don't recall spending much time worrying about what happened to my body.

  41. mmiied

    @ sarah

    "Oh AC Whose Name I Can Still See, someone had to say it, I suppose.

    I intend to live at least into late middle age so, y'know, bear that in mind."

    some times I think you incrougus us just cos you like the atention

  42. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    You don't get to choose how long you live? Why did no one *tell* me? I've got it all planned out! I thought... I thought... etc.

    You are Dave Gahan and I claim my tickets for Depeche Mode at the O2.

  43. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ sarah

    Only occasionally. I have to amuse myself somehow.

  44. Hollerith 1


    Having sat through a funeral where the deceased was a non-believer, so was the family, but no one wanted to 'run' the ceremony, yet everyone wanted to commemorate our friend and be there for his widow, so a Christian minister was called in and we got God thick as lard, I really do think funerals have to be re-thought. Frankly, a Toastmaster or good after-dinner speaker with sensitivity and tact would do as well. A Christian minister is obviously going to speak his stuff, can't fault him for that, and why have him if you don't want it. Point made before, but having been part of the 'audience', so to speak, a message of faith to an audience who has no faith was only distracting and grating and sad.

    @Sarah Bee -- late middle age? Is that all you hope for? Do you want to say goodbye to 40% of your life, and the best bit as well?

  45. Vincent Ballard
    Thumb Down

    Re: Viking funeral

    @Mike Richards, sorry, no can do. WEEE, you know.

  46. Graham Bartlett

    @Dave 145

    Doesn't matter if you believe in "God" or not, the question is whether you believe in the Christian version of God and his various works and commandments, as interpreted by the particular Christian sect whose church you'd be in.

    Muslims believe in God too. So do Jews, and Sikhs, and Hindus (the various Hindu gods are aspects of one greater God), and Baha'is. Would you randomly roll up at one of their places and say "please can you do my funeral service when I die?"

    FWIW, I believe in God too. However I also believe that the followers of organised religion have caused more death, pain, misery and suffering in the name of their chosen organised religion than have been caused by any nation, political movement or other concept. For that reason, I'd rather be dropped down a sewer than have my funeral in a church, thanks.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why was he there?

    If it was a secular funeral, what WAS the vicar doing there at all? I can understand why he felt like he didn't belong there!

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @James Cullingham & @Sarah Bee

    @James Cullingham Yes very good! I did mean soul.

    The whole point of religion is based on the soul passing onwards leaving an empty shell. After death we really shouldn't be wasting our time on a corpse. A remembrance service or celebration of Life (or wake or whatever, sometimes down the pub!) is usually seperate to the Burial/Cremation this vicar really should know that!

    @Sarah Bee

    Yes agreed tossing into the rubish is a litlle harsh. Put which ever bits you want into the recyling bin and the rest into the composting bin.

    @Sarah Bee When you reach Late Middle Age... how old do you think I'll be?

    (If you really want to work it out I was born in the year of the Fire Dragon! [no I'm not Chinese I'm just not making it easy!])

  49. Paul Smith

    Come on baby,

    Light my fire

  50. goggyturk

    @ Charles E

    "I think the Vicar is just offended because Tina Turner is a Buddhist."

    Shouldn't that be Bullshit? That's certainly how I read it. Plz use a spellchecker next time to avoid any confusion.

  51. The Beer Monster


    I intend to live for ever, just out of spite towards the people who find me annoying.

  52. Stevie


    So, no vicar when you pop your clogs = no heaven for you?

    I guess if great grandad was on the Tiitanic you'll never get to see him then, no matter how hard you pray and how much you tithe.

    Glad to see the clergy telling it like it is for a change. personally, I stopped believing their blither when I was 15 and old enough to think properly.

  53. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Hollerith

    I said 'at least', Hollerith - I wouldn't mind avoiding the really nasty old bits. But then if I was healthy and the world wasn't in a complete mess, yeah, I'll take whatever I can get... it's only that I don't have an ambition to live to 100, I spose.

    That funeral sounds ghastly. I went to one a bit like that - young guy of 26 who died suddenly, he wasn't godly in the least but it was mostly pretty Christian in a sad modern church that looked like a grotty community centre.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Sarah Bee

    You're a bit talkative today..dont recall the last time we had so many replies without a crack of the whip.

    keep it up.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel sorry for the poor guy

    personally I think religeon is for people who refuse to grow up and take responsibility for themselves. But the guy if obviously caring and want to help and comfort others.

  56. Anonymous Coward


    I stated 'religious in a negative sense' specifically because this priest's comments reveal that his view of his faith and calling is rigidly limited and dictated by proscribed rituals and practices, and to the exclusion of 'secular' content in funerals such as Tina Turner tracks etc.

    What a sad, blinkered view - firstly, as a minister of the gospel he should akgnowlege that his calling is to ALL people, 'religious' or otherwise, as the apostle Paul said "everything is permissable' (not imorality of course, but Paul faught to tear down the 'religious' divide between the 'secular' and the 'spiritual', and he went on to say thet he 'became all things to all men that he might win some, to the jew he became as a jew, to the gentile he became as a gentile, etc. etc.

    As I made it clear in my comments, although many of the people I led funerals for were not Christians, in every case they were quite happy for me to 1. follow the basic proscribed service wording, 2. include prayers, and 3. preach a short Christian message. And also in every case they greatly appreciated the fact that most of the service was given over to remembering and celebrating the persons life and also encouraged the inclusion of 'secular' music personal to the deceased or friends / family.

    As for the comment on payment, I cast no aspersions but make it quite clear that I'm offended by the fact that this man should be making such comments and complaints about doing his JOB, as well as fulfilling his calling / vocation. The man may or may not be a 'Christian brother', that very much depends on his faith or lack of it, (and a white collar does not automatically qualify one for a relationship with God!)

    Of course, as I also made clear, if I was asked to officiate at a funeral but prevented from including basic Christian Prayers and Eulogy I would decline and commentators are quite right to suggest that in such cases the family should make alternative arrangements, however, tis Priest did not say that his objections were to being prevented from including Christian content, but more to being asked to include 'secular' content such as music, and perhaps not being flexible enough to couch the Christian bits in terms more acceptable (in format not content) to those outside the church rather than 'religiously' insisting on the full 'requium mass' as if it is some kind of sacred or magic furmula.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Make your mind up time...

    I have to say I half agree with the vicar about people treating religion as little more than a superstition (which of course it is) - if people want secular ceremonies they should at least make their minds up.

    If the reverend seems to be suffering from that eternal complaint of organised religion - that adult people have a distressing habit of leading their own lives instead of doing as they're damn well told - I can at least sympathise with his attitude to people who claim religiosity when it suits them but practice its values not at all.

    As for someone's remark that atheistic concern about funerals is hypocritical. Nonsense. Personally, I don't much care if my family puts my body out in a black bin bag for the Council to collect (extra charge almost certainly). But funerals are not just for the dead - their primary function in almost every culture is to allow families and friends an avenue for grief and proper closure. I have left detailed instructions for my own funeral, partly to allow my family that closure (not to mention finance it), and partly to offset the possibility of relatives (as in the vicar's complaint) getting morbidly superstitious and calling in a priest "to be on the safe side". So a secular funeral is specified in no uncertain terms.

    Despite my atheism, I was for many years good friends with a local vicar. Once, as a parting shot after a conversation that had become traditionally heated, I said, "You know the trouble with your lot? Too many bloody churchgoers and not enough real Christians!" The line appeared in his sermon that next Sunday. It wasn't the last line he borrowed from me in his efforts to "wake the beggars up!"

  58. Tom Paine


    As a long-term martyr to the cause of (don't laugh!)... The Strawbs, it would it would have to be the title song from their 1978 album... "Burning For You".

    Or possibly Spiritualized, "Soul on Fire". Or Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire", "(Feeling) Hot! Hot! Hot!" ... or anything by the Friendly Fires...

    Grenade, because I'm going to leave a few hundred nicker to bribe the undertaker to shove one up my corpse's arse before screwing down the lid. Always wanted to go out with a bang...

  59. Gav
    Thumb Up

    Totally agree with you, Vicar

    If you believe; get a vicar/priest/monk/minister/whatever. If you don't, then why waste everyone's time with some banal religion-lite?

    If you believe a word of what "god's representative" is saying then you should be giving him top billing and a free reign. Anything and everything, in fact, to get the deceased into the great forever-after. If you don't believe it, then why are you inviting a stranger along to a sad and solemn occasion to spout a load of lies over the body of someone they probably never met?

    The same applies to christenings and weddings. If you're not a church goer, then why go through the sham of a church ceremony? Quit giving oaths to a non-existent deity you clearly don't give tuppence for the rest of your life. Yes, the church may be pretty, and the ceremony is nice. But if you're not a believer, at the centre of it all is a whopping big lie. It makes the entire process meaningless and an insult to everyone there, not least the vicar who's being treated like a dress-up, role-playing accessory

  60. ElFatbob

    Steve 70

    I agree with a number of your points, but i still don't read his comments, overall, the same way

    I've not been able to load his blog - must be the traffic - so I wasn't aware of an insistence on a full mass. Your comment about 'religious in a negative sense' makes sense in that context. And I agree about the magic formula bit...

    However, while I can understand your offence, your statement about financial return had negative connotations directed at this man's character. Surprised a Pastor would make such a comment, irrespective of his [priest] actual eternal position.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Why the hate? He's totally right..

    Have to agree, if you aren't going to bother with the religious frippery, with their spells and whatnot being cast over presumably a microwave pyre, why have the bloke in the funny hat and dress?

    He's bang on the money. I also wouldn't want a vicar presiding over my disposal, probably recycled in some way as chicken Mcnuggets (I'm assuming this is where the promise of white meat comes from).

    If people insist on having wizards or priests or whatever you call them these days at their funerals and weddings, more power to them, but why are you wasting their time if you want to send out your loved ones to the blessed tunes of Posh Spice and the rambling poetry Auntie Maud?

    There are far more important issues to think about anyway, such as making sure you have their usernames and passwords for all their valuable online gaming accounts before they kick the bucket. Wonder if Blizzard has stooped to selling online funerals yet..

  62. Andy Bright


    If I've leveled my Pally to 80 is it bad form of me to take bookings for funerals or should I make sure I spec Holy first?

  63. Andy Bright

    oh yeah..

    I almost forgot.. I can't offer them Salvation but I can give them Kings, which is just as good if not better.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In His Own Words

    It is perfectly possible that a person would choose a church/religious building because they know that friends/relatives will be attending for whom being inside such a venue, during a period of mourning seems fitting/proper or correct. Moreover, that some of these people may wish to take a moments silence and contemplate such metaphysical things as the life, the universe and everything in a place they feel best befits those thoughts.

    Unfortunately, often times to gain access to these religious buildings predicates the inclusion of a preacher all of whom want to convert the masses (each in their own way of course) to the insanity that is organised religion. My father wanted a church funeral, not for himself, because he reasoned when the time came (and it did) he would be dead and therefore wouldn't care (something tells me he was right). Yet he had empathy for those close to him that did hence his wishes. My late father and I would have been more than happy if the priest along with his entire club of pixie pals just let 'untouched' people get on with their lives in peace and in their own way including not having them officiate.

    As for weddings, well if you like the architecture of a place there is nothing wrong with choosing it as a venue; however many are forced (parental expectations(especially if parents are paying)) to have a church wedding and in either respect that typically includes DJ Fairy and MC Land along with the requirement to make vows about and in the presence of God (who funnily enough never shows up). It is for this reason I was forced into exile and married in Scotland at a dimmly lit gothic venue without a single word of religion spoken.

    The UK's christain (sic) church reminds me of the film titanic, sinking slowly into irrelevance; just not prepared to admit it to themselves even when the water laps at their neck. There are so many deities to choose from these days that advertising is actually quite important. If I were to dip my hand into the pick and mix that is modern religion I certainly wouldn't want to join yours Mr. Priest!

    Especially since your churches (as a collective) are bare, your words ring hollow to the majority of young people, your messiah is now way beyond fasionably late and when we do throw you a bone and invite you along all we get is a pompous critique!

    As for a song, has to be either Depeche Mode Enjoy the Silence or Municipal Waste Septic Detonation.

  65. Charles Manning

    re: Tina Turner is a Buddist?

    No, I think she drinks Sam Adams.

    As for calling in the Vicar at the end... well it's a bit like hedging your bets.

    Religion has typically been most important to people when the Great Unknown threatens. In the past that was pretty much a daily event and you needed the shamans to keep wolves away or piss on the field to induce healthy crops. Now we can control most aspects during normal life and it is just that messy bit at the end where we still have some problems.

  66. Captain DaFt
    Dead Vulture

    @ Sarah Tuesday 20th October 2009 12:07 GMT

    I agree with you on the donor thing, my cards always updated. But I'm planning on hanging around as long as I can get around.

    If anyone can get any use out of my parts after I'm done with'em, more power to them!

    Now, as to choice of music for my final send off, what could be more appropriate than BOC's "Don't Fear the Reaper"?

  67. Anonymous Coward

    My choice?

    Get a big post hole borer, dig a nice deep hole and shove me in it, don't care which way up. Plant a tree on top and I'll be happy. Alternatively, leave my arse near the surface and shove an acorn up it. I don't care two hoots as I'll be dead.

  68. Jay Castle
    Dead Vulture

    Can't believe no-one's mentioned this one..... funeral song is gonna have to be 'Don't Fear The Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult.

    It's been one of my favourite songs ever since I got fired for playing it on hospital radio. That went down like a cup of cold sick with a hair in it! Honestly, some people have NO sense of humour!

  69. Rod S


    He has a good point. Typical for people to get angry and attack what he's saying.

  70. A J Stiles


    I don't want Christians, or theists of any stripe, anywhere near my funeral.

    I want an usher directing people to one side or the other depending on whether they were "sadly missed" or "glad to see the back".

    And I think I'd have Alisha's Attic, "I Am, I Feel" played.

  71. copsewood

    Reasons Atheists have Christian funerals

    One reason is that many are closet Agnostics, keeping their bets covered. A second reason is that some self-professing Atheists don't really have the courage of their Atheist convictions by failing to specify a secular/humanist service in advance and leaving grieving relatives to make the default, seen as more socially acceptable, choices about their funerals.

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