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|Issue Date: ||2010-08-04T07:28:54Z (UTC)
Could a memorial ceremony spread the gospel? Actually, a funeral is a great time to witness to family members.
When a member of the family passes away, the remaining ones need the most comfort. From a counseling viewpoint, the hymns of the memorial service are able to bring comfort to the sad and a hopeful message to the family. At the memorial service, we can help people understand the meaning of “life”, “death” and “belief.” It is likely they are more willing to consider the lessons taught.
The author designs two examples of a memorial service based on the biblical theology of shepherding (care giving) and counseling and Christian ethics. These examples are: Re-Baptism and a Memorial Service Worshiping the Creation of Life and its Virtues. The design displays our heart and honest worship through hymns and verses of the Bible to respect the person who has passed.
The author obtained information from 352 funeral bulletins to compile statistics. The hymns【Amazing Grace】, 【What a Friend We Have in Jesus】 are the top picked bilingual hymns (Chinese/English). A hymn becomes popular because of easily understood words and beautiful melody. They are also collected widely in hymn books of any religious believing, and beloved by the people who have passed. If the words of the hymn can be communicated through biblical verses of the Bible, the atmosphere of the funeral or memorial services are quite touching.
During worship services, we suggest that churches adopt team-work to design the contents of the memorial service and to educate the church members in understanding the meaning of memorial service. In this service, we should not elevate the experience of the dead higher than God, or cover the glory of God. The hymns should help to balance the hearts of the various ages of people, selecting a mix of old and new hymns. It is important to ensure that people’s voices and the sound of the musical instruments should not be too loud; so people do not lose focus in the memorial service.
In the preface of《The Holy Melody》，John Wesley said: If someone feels singing the hymns is as difficult as carrying the cross, let him/her carry it, he/she will be blessed. At the beginning of the hymn, we may not be familiar with it. However, we could conquer the challenge if we had the will to learn. As the teacher of the author--- Prof. Hsiu-Wen Chen spoke at the seminar of new hymns in 2009, she encouraged us to open our hearts to accept and learn new hymns. The Holy Spirit has moved many poets to write down many wonderful hymns for us to sing, from age to age.
|Appears in Collections:||[台灣神學院] 教會音樂碩士|
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