Yesterday I took the opportunity to observe one of our pastor's help a family make funeral arrangements for their father. When I first thought of being a pastor, I thought I would be doing this sort of thing all the time. Since moving to Austin and a bigger church Marie and I have been a part of a number of funerals in various roles. The thing that stuck out to me about yesterday's experience was the HUGE cost of having a funeral. The people at the funeral home were not pushy. They did not come off as salespeople trying to make a buck. It just seemed to cost a lot.
When I was in undergrad, my sermon prep teacher, Dr. Grimes brought in a few funeral directors to lecture us. Both seemed nice, but after the lecture it was clear that one of them was in the business of funerals and one of them was in it as a vocation.
I understand the people have to make a living and that a worker is worth the wage. I also understand that funerals are for the living and it helps them grieve. However, when my time comes, I don't want my family to feel any pressure to spend a ton of money.