Death + Popular Culture Funeral Industry Grief + Mourning

It’s My Way or Highway (to Hell). Neither O.K.

Australia’s Catholic church bans pop songs at funerals
Reuters, Melbourne. September 10, 2010

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.
A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, partial)

Apparently too, there is a time to play pop songs and there is a time NOT to play pop songs.

This past week the Catholic church in Australia sent down an edict banning all pop and rock music and football club songs from funerals performed in their churches. The guidelines, handed down by Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, were distributed this week to priests and funeral directors. Funerals are to be “sacred farewells”; “life celebrations” should be done before or after the formal service. According to the article:

“The wishes of the deceased, family and friends should be taken into account … but in planning the liturgy, the celebrant should moderate any tendency to turn the funeral into a secular celebration of the life of the deceased,” the guidelines state.


The article goes on to list the top 10 most popular songs played or sung at Australian funerals. I love that “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” from the Wizard of Oz made the cut (although is was categorized as a “popular unusual” song).

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