Funerial customs

I just watched the funeral of Ashling Murphy who was murdered last week and I was struck by several things that are a bit beyond my experience of funerals as practiced by Norn Iron prods

The way photos and items like a fiddle were brought up to a sort of mini altar beside the coffin was odd to me as the Methodists I knew were just about tolerant of a spray of flowers lest a graven image be worshipped
And the only singing was by her cousins who have beautiful voices
In the Methodist church of my youth everybody sang many hymns at funeral services

There were a group of men in white nighties over black frocks who lined a wall near the altar
Anyone know who they might have been?

The bishop gave a very kind sermon hoping for her Grandparents to welcome her to Heaven

The most heartbreaking sight was of her pupils (she taught the first class in primary school) all lining the road with a photo of her and a red rose each
There were other things that puzzle me eg her immediate family not doing anything in the service just being in the front pew

The President broke all covid rules and hugged each member of her family allowing them to sob on his shoulder I was delighted to see

The coffin was wheeled in and out of the church where I would have expected to see it carried

All in all familiar but sort of just a bit different to my experiences

I do not want anyone to feel I am upset by my wonderings I would rather have explanations of the things I noticed


This was a funeral after a brutal murder, Twellsy, largely Catholic but with other faiths/no particular faith represented.

The symbols on the table represented her interests - traditional Irish music, the GAA etc. People often have a photograph of the deceased in Church these days.

The cousins sang, & I believe that her sister did a reading. If my 23 year old daughter had been murdered in broad daylight last week, I don’t think that I would have fancied doing much either…

I hope that I will be carried in, rather than trollied in, :wink:, & I can imagine that many would have offered to carry Ashling. Probably better that no-one was ‘favoured’.
Some of my cousins came from Ireland, & carried my Father into Church, which was perfect, & they deemed it an honour. They were all the same height, which helps too!

Black Cassocks, & white Cottas/Surplices are standard dress for many in Holy Orders/representatives of the Christian faiths, & these were probably the altar servers. They do tend to use adult servers at funerals.



Shooting for ‘siphoned in’, personally


All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!

But my Totem saw the shame; from his ridgepole shrine he came,
And he told me in a vision of the night:—
“There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
And every single one of them is right!”


With any luck, we shouldn’t need embalming… :wink::joy:

:cocktail:, Dahlink?



Thank you dear one for explanations

The altar servers were youngsters - the boy had his hair superglued in place and the girls’ hair was braided and plaited so tight I doubt the weans could blink

I aim for a cardboard box cremation and use what is left to fertilise a tree

And count me in on the not needing enbalming please


Personally I’m not sure about cremation. Could be quite a blast radius…


Yes go out with a bag Joe!


Speakin’ as someone likely to end up half-way down a fox’s gullet… an informal affair, but deeply pragmatic.


In my youth, all too often… :wink: