The greatest Funeral ever

On Good Friday many people on earth and also everybody in Hand in Hand commemorate

the crucifixion and the death of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago.

 

Everybody who has ever visited Ghana knows how important funerals are in Ghanaian society. Funerals are great get-togethers to remember the deceased and to support their family and relatives. Almost every Saturday the streets of many villages and towns will fill with crowds of people wearing their special red or black coloured funeral clothes. On some Saturdays people will gather at even more than one location. Often complete streets are shut off to be able to offer a seat close to the deceased’s family home to all visitors. Funerals are top of the range social events in Ghana.

Perhaps some Ghanaians are overlooked during their lifetime or they are regarded as less important than others, but ultimately after death all departed enter the circle of their ancestors and all inhabitants of Ghana respect them, because people believe that your forefathers can influence your life. So you can become more important in Ghana by dying …..

 

To be absolutely clear: a funeral is completely different from a burial. Sometimes these two ceremonies come together as one, but the actual burial takes place more or less immediately after the time of death, these are tropical circumstances here. The funeral takes place – much – later, but when the family is wealthy enough to pay for a prolonged stay of the deceased in the cold storage of the morgue, things might be different.

Believe it or not, mortuaries are really profitable to most hospitals in Ghana! The frequent usage and the sometimes-long stay of dead people in the mortuaries of Ghana are commensurate with the great importance of funerals and the need for decent preparations.

To most families the organisation of a big funeral is costly and time consuming, however ….. each attendant of the funeral is expected to donate a sum of money to the family of the deceased and the proceeds may be quite favourable at the end of a funeral! And those donations are not silently given to the family concerned, no certainly not, all contributions are announced loudly and clearly through a microphone for all people present!

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So you will have to consider and decide what sum of money you are prepared to donate, because people will remember that at the time of your own funeral …..!

Things were quite different at what is called the greatest funeral of all times by the Ghanaian people: the yearly commemoration on Good Friday of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Golgotha and His subsequent burial in a tomb.

At that time people came to Jesus’ crucifixion to watch Him suffer, not because they wanted to pay their respects or to support Him or His relatives, but they came and watched, probably motivated by a desire for sensation or in search of gruesome popular entertainment.

 

To believers Good Friday has gained in significance considerably during the centuries and in the meantime Good Friday has become a very important Christian holiday in Ghana, it is even more special here than in many other countries in Europe. In all churches in Ghana it is an extraordinary day of remembering and paying tribute to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice at the cross for all who believe in Him.

Also in PCC the children will go to church early on Good Friday and afterwards they will watch a Passion of Christ movie for hours, meanwhile many caregivers will go to their own churches.

On the whole it is a relatively quiet day in the Community, because this atmosphere is most appropriate to the memory of the greatest funeral of all times.

Fortunately Good Friday is not the end, for we know it will soon be Easter Sunday, then we will celebrate: the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ and New Life, also for the residents of PCC!

Because for them there will be a place in the New Jerusalem too! Amen.