A funeral – 19 September 2022

Here a funeral is taking place in a single room of a house. Family and neighbours are gathered. The minister (wearing a ruff) stands next to the coffin saying prayers. The deceased’s widow stands to his right and slightly behind him, separated from the group of people gathered in the room. The coffin sits on trestles, with flowers and greenery on the lid, and wreaths hung from the sides. A girl mourner has brought a wreath with her, and others hang from pegs on the wall. There is a sense of comfort and solidarity in loss. The picture speaks into our universal experience of death and bereavement, as the bereaved, as mourners or comforters, as ministers.

To the left of the picture there is a window, and through this the sun shines, this light illuminating the faces of the mourners. The picture is immensely sad, but because of this light it is hopeful, with the faith of those gathered represented.

The picture is A Funeral, 1891, by Anna Ancher. Anna is regarded as a significant Danish Impressionist painter. She often painted local people at prayer, in the churches or at home. By showing here this small room packed with people, Anna demonstrated her mastery of colour, mixing together the blue, pink, and green hues.


Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him…  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

I Thessalonians 4:13-14, 18


May God give to you and to all those you love
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.



May the choir of angels,
Come to greet you.
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you
In His mercy.
May you find eternal life

The Lord is my light and my help;
It is He who protects me from harm
The Lord is the strength of my days;
Before whom should I tremble with fear?

May the choir of angels …

There is one the I ask of the Lord;
That He grant me my heartfelt desire.
To dwell in the courts of our God
Everyday of my life in His presence

May the choir of angels ….

O Lord, hear my voice when I cry;
Have mercy on me and give answer.
Do not cast me away in Your anger;
For You are the God of my help

May the choir of angels …..

Ernest Sands, Song of Farewell