Some years ago, I conducted a particular funeral service at the local cemetery.
Later , I got a tearful and anxious phone call from the deceased’s granddaughter,
She said something along the lines of her brother having told his old Auntie Jeanie (who hadn’t been there because of ill-health) that “the minister didn’t mention you by name in the prayers of intercession”…. and that she’s been very hurt.
I reassured her that Auntie Jeanie had indeed been mentioned.
“Do you still have your notes?” she asked.
“I should have – but with no disrespect, they’re in my waste paper basket”
“Could you empty it and have a look?”
So it was all tipped out on the study floor – old invoices, letters from Kirk HQ, a half-eaten apple, an empty bottle of lager …. then, the crumpled up funeral notes.
I looked at them and, sure enough, Auntie Jeannie’s name was there.
I relayed the good news to the granddaughter who said “I was sure you had. See that ba***red brother of mine – he’s a lying f***ker who likes to wind people up!”
End of story,
At the Chapel of Rest – a service prior to going to pay the last offices of love at the cemetery.
The service went well. However, one of the principal mourners took me aside, before we got into the limos, and said “you never mentioned the grandchildren’s partners (no request had been been made when I did the pre-funeral visit)
Hastily, I scribbled down all their names and read them at the cemetery – adding an extra ten minutes to the service.
At the crematorium, the deceased’s name was Billy (for the committal, I was going to give him his Christian name – William)
So, after referring to “Billy” – as he was known be everyone – for the first few minutes of the service, his father stood up and in a loud voice said “His name is William – get your facts straight!”
Oh, the joys of ministry!