I’m not really sure what is considered to be an epic, but I sometimes wonder if lack of planning might be the cause.
Ceremonial activities are stressful regardless of whether they are happy or sad events. I can’t even count the number times that at well-planned formal weddings I’ve heard the celebrant say the opposite of what was written for the ceremony. Snickers, giggles, squirming, and red faces were the result. Not an epic fail.
Funerals seem to involve less planning and they often have no clear leader. The funeral director is in charge, at least to a degree. An officiant (minister, priest, or even a master of ceremonies) is – or desires to be – the on-site authority. As a result, things can become really messed up before someone takes responsibility for what is happening.
Sitting in a funeral chapel back in the day before canned music, I was listening to the organ pre-service music. When I know tunes, I tend to sing the words to myself. Following several hymns including, “In The Garden,” I realized I was singing these words, “When you come to the end of a perfect day and you sit alone with your thoughts.”
What? Suddenly I was alert and no longer just waiting for the service to begin. The organist continued to play merrily along. Of course, I couldn’t stop the flow of words in my head while at the same time hoping someone in her family had not requested the number.
“When you come to the end of a perfect day
And you sit alone with your thoughts,
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay
For the joy that the day has brought.
Do you think what the end of a perfect day
Can mean to a tired heart,
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray
And the dear friends have to part? “
Carrie Jacobs-Bond, 1909)
Many years later, now in the era of canned music, I again sat while waiting for a service honoring a young mother to begin. Apparently her favorite music genre was Country and multiple selections were played over the speaker system. Since I like country music and know many of the songs, I was again singing along in my head. Suddenly my body stiffened as I heard the first line of a new song, “In a bar in Toledo across from the depot on a bar stool she took off her ring.” I knew what was coming. I willed someone to cut the music but Kenny Rogers voice continued:
“In a bar in Toledo across from the depot
On a bar stool she took off her ring.
I thought I'd get closer so I walked on over
I sat down and asked her name
When the drinks finally hit her
She said I'm no quitter but I finally quit livin’ on dreams.
I'm hungry for laughter and here ever after
I'm after whatever the other life brings.
In the mirror I saw him and I closely watched him
I thought how he looked out of place.
He came to the woman who sat there be-side me
He had a strange look on his face.
The big hands were calloused he looked like a mountain
For a minute I thought I was dead.
But he started shaking his big heart was breaking
He turned to the woman and said.
You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field . . .” Click! Mercifully, the song stopped.
~Songwriters, Roger Bowling & Hal Bynum
Maybe an epic fail?
~ Clipart – Music-staff & Pandora