Cussing the Preacher

As I was leaving the cemetery yesterday following a funeral I had a man shake my hand and say, “Hell of a funeral, preacher, hell of a funeral.” Wow, that was a first. I really believe he was trying to pay me an honest compliment. One of these days I’ve got to write a book of “funny funeral experiences.” I have a list of stories a mile long.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
26 Comments Post a Comment
  1. John Roberts says:

    Though weddings are more fun, funerals are more meaningful. I have found that funerals give me an opportunity to do real ministry with people who are more open and vulnerable than any other time in their lives.

  2. Tim Archer says:

    Put me down for weddings. The premarital counseling gives you so many opportunities. And you develop a lifelong relationship. Rarely does someone say, “I want you to meet the preacher that did dad’s funeral,” but they’re almost always wanting to see the one who married them.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim

  3. Monalea says:

    I am not a preacher, but I teach ladies classes. My vote goes for funerals. It’s a hand’s down win, win celebration if you are doing a ‘funeral’ for someone who has “fought the good fight.” It’s not a funeral at all but a Great Celebration that they have made it across the finish line to receive the ‘Gold.’ I would quote lots of scriptures to prove this point, but since Preachers are commenting……………..! From OT to NT God shows He has a totally different view point on death. Why am I so sure of this???? I faced a no win (that’s removing God from the equation) fight with cancer, stared death in the face and realized that for a Christian, a funeral is a great victory

  4. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I can only speak to funerals as I have never done a wedding in 12 years. I have done plenty of premarital counseling. And NO Trey, I did not talk them out of it. My experience has shown opportunity in both settings. It is a little intimidating to think of joining others together in the divorce ridden country we live in. That would be one more burden on my heart. And to amen Monalea, a saint who has lived a long and colorful life can bring such joy. Yes we grieve but we are not to grieve like the world.

  5. Trey Morgan says:

    Good comments folks. John and Tim both make a good point. And James, you made me smile, buddy. Talking folks out of weddings. I’ve go a young couple I’m sending your way. Kidding.

    Monalea … I always like your opinions … your point was clear on a funeral for a “saint.”

    As for me? I’ll tell you what I think later. :)

  6. Gilbert Kerrigan says:

    I’ve done premarital a few times, but I still have not done a wedding or a funeral (I’m still young… I know my day will come!).
    I’m looking forward to the first wedding, but not the funeral.

    As for March Madness… I’m sure I will never come that close again!

  7. Mommysmart says:

    Funny post! I noticed that subtle hint about a book….I’m still waiting.

  8. Lisa says:

    Hmmm … since you want everyone to guess, I think your favorite is funerals, since it’s less obvious. No doubt you want to get across the message that it’s a joyful occasion when the deceased is a believer. And we all know how much you personally are looking forward to heaven! However, as someone who never knows the right thing to say to comfort someone, I think I’d prefer doing weddings. Also, being around my Dad after funerals he’s done, I think it took a toll on him having to comfort so many grieving family members. It’s just not an easy thing in our society to celebrate death. I asked my Dad once if it was harder doing funerals for someone who hadn’t professed Christ, and he said “not really; it’s more about comforting the ones they’ve left behind.”

  9. Neva says:

    Trey,
    Maybe the man yesterday just wasn’t good with words. My husband, who makes his living with words, once said to me in the wee hours of the morning as the sun was rising, “You are so beautiful. I love looking at you in the dark.”
    Sometimes you just have to say, “Thank you.” :)))))

    Neva
    By the way, I heard a joke once about the similarities between funerals and weddings. You can figure it out, I am sure.

    Thanks for sending Monalea my way, love her much!!!

    Peace
    Neva

  10. Trey Morgan says:

    Monica … Don’t hold your breath on a book, but I can sure tell ya some FUNNY stuff.

    Lisa .. you’re pretty much on target (more on that later).

    Neva – Do share the joke.

  11. Lisa says:

    Oh yeah, I was also going to tell a “cussing story” of my own:

    Back at Thanksgiving, I was with my husband’s family in NJ at a family gathering. As we were leaving & saying our goodbyes, one of Dan’s uncles by marriage said, “your boys are really good boys. And you’re a hell of a mom. A hell of a mom.” (wow, he even repeated it for emphasis) I was thinking that maybe I hadn’t been wearing Christ very well if he didn’t realize that might not be an appropriate way to compliment me, but if a preacher can have something similar said to him, then I guess I’m safe. :)

    I never knew I’d be sharing that story.

  12. Trey Morgan says:

    Here are my thoughts … Funerals -vs- Weddings.

    Weddings are MUCH more stressful than funerals. (Unless it’s an unusual “tragic” funeral.) Weddings require more time, effort and you always seem to make a mother-in-law-to-be mad at you. They want a wedding to be perfect and that requires rehearsals, etc.

    So yes, I’d choose a funeral. But that’s just me.

    From a ministry stand point, both are great opportunities to reach out to others and open some doors.

  13. Trey Morgan says:

    Lisa … I think we need to get some T-shirts printed up with that on it. (just kidding)

    I have no doubt the man yesterday was totally sincere. I’m not sure he even caught what he said.

  14. Messianic Gentile says:

    Having officiated neither, I cannot speak from experience. However, having been married… and having worked several years for Hospice, I can say my own wedding was very small, informal and quiet compared to some I have participated in. I hope my funeral is not a bigger party!

    But I think I would choose funerals, afterall, I am known around Lubbock as the “minister of lost causes.”

    Many blessings…

  15. Ancient Wanderer says:

    Funerals, definitely funerals.
    Weddings have too much drama and when I finish a funeral I never wonder, “Is this thing going to last.”

    I have to agree with john roberts on the opportunity factor with funerals.

    And what’s this deal with “renewing vows”. See what I mean. I’ve never had anyone renew their burial.

  16. Trey Morgan says:

    AW – Good one … made me laugh. I officially have decided that I’m not doing any burial renewals. :)

  17. DJG says:

    The other thing is funerals are very personal and very much about the “person of honor” without trying to impress anyone…

    Weddings on the other hand are usually a show….IMHO

  18. Bobby Cohoon says:

    Funerals. You are like the Principle presiding over graduation. Please the important person at a funeral seem to never to never complain about the service.

  19. Brian Nicklaus says:

    hell of a post, Trey.

    I prefer funerals because people have less expectations. If something doesn’t go right, you can’t mess up too bad becaue the person is already dead, and if you mess up a little, that’s still not as bad as someone being dead.

    But, mess up someone’s wedding and you might have a mom and daughter combo mad at you…..

  20. Stachia says:

    I would choose funerals over a wedding. Weddings are a joyous occastion and also very stressful. From that point on the couple will face many things, some good, some bad. If a funeral all of those things are over and HEAVEN is what’s to come. I attended the funeral of a good friend Sally Piper just a week or so ago and it was a celebration not only of her life but of the fact she was with her Father in Heaven and not suffering anymore. While weddings are fun I think I would have to choose a funeral. This was a great post and interesting to see everyones opinions.
    Have a Great Day!
    Stach

  21. Trey Morgan says:

    Okay … a first for that one too Brian :)

    This has been a pretty fun topic. I still think somewhere down the line we need to do some “funny” wedding and funeral stories….

  22. Lisa says:

    Leave it to the “Blog Prophet” to say something like that.

    With 100 weddings & twice as many funerals behind you, there’s bound to be some pretty funny stories for you to share … can’t wait!

  23. Trey Morgan says:

    Lisa,

    The amazing thing is I don’t have a lot of crazy wedding stories. For some reason they just don’t happen, but funeral? Oh yea.

    It’s interesting that you can tie funny and funeral in the same sentence.

  24. The Preacher's Household: says:

    A couple of stories:

    I was the best man at a wedding where toward the end there was a congregational singing of “Trust and Obey”.

    At my brother Pat’s wedding There were many very funny things. The grooms family toured Niagra falls with the groom and almost missed the wedding for starters. The bride’s family were a mixed group of Catholic and atheists. Since neither the bride nor groom was catholic and there was no C of C in town the wedding was at an Evangelical free church where some of the bridesmaids went. They had congregational singing but only us church of Christ people knew the songs, so, in the middle of that the bride went and passsed out songbooks. During the vows, a candle fell into a glass globe and exploded sending glass over the back half of the auditorium. Someone sang “Sunrise Sunset” where one of the lines is “Is this the little boy I carried”. Actually my brother is adopted so that did not apply. The reception was at a ‘fellowship’ hall at the catholics church. Half the party got lost on the way. During the reception, the catholics did not know what to do with us folks from Texas. There was a dance and the DJ was certain that Pat’s parent wer having a spat because everytime he tried to have the parents dance James and Lois would disapear. Kathy really bonded with my family after the experience in Ohio. I would describe the wedding as a series of unfortunate events, although they have remained married for twelve years now.

    My dad officiated a wedding where a bee got in the veil at an outdoor wedding and created a stir.

    Kathy went to a wedding of an aquaintance and ended up being the coordiantor on the spot.

    I could go on and on but I will leave it at, I felt lucky that the only thing that happened at our wedding was they forgot to record the singing. Maybe in part because of the professional camera crew in the second row that was blinding most the people and blocking the view of the rest.

    James & Kathy

  25. john dobbs says:

    Great post and comments … everything I was going to say has been said.

    One thing, though … as I stress out about what to say at a wedding or funeral, I realize that very few people will remember anything I say – unless it is something outlandish. They are either nervous or grieving and a momentary comfort is all I can offer … unless it is video taped. Yes, one of our members video taped the funeral. I’m not sure I even knew it. She watches it a lot. I’m glad she likes it. I loved her husband, so it was easy to say wonderful things about him. Anyway, mostly the preacher’s part is forgotten … and I think that’s probably good.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I met that man with the "Hell of a funeral" comment a little over five years ago. He did not take up much space on this Earth, a little under 6ft and a little under 180lbs. Yes, and if you saw him on the street you would not think much of him with his sweat stained cowboy hat. But you know, if we stoped at the wraping paper and never looked at the gift inside, we would be doing ourselfs an injustice. John was a big man on the inside and that is where God and Jesus has reminded us to look. Good show John, Good show.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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