The Speakin’ Deacon

IMG_3462Only my cousin Johnny could get away with heckling the officiant at his mother’s funeral. We were all at the grave site where her ashes were to be buried, and several people took turns saying a few words about my aunt: how she always had a smile and a kind word, and even when she fell ill she kept her spirits up.

Then it was the Deacon’s turn. “I grew up next door to the Royce* family,” he began, “and there were five girls.”

“I bet you liked that, didn’t you?” Johnny blurted out, which caused the crowd to gasp in unison.

“I- I- I was the paper boy,” the Deacon said. “I was much younger. I was the paper boy.” Over and over he defended himself.


In my cousin’s defense, besides losing his mother, his brother had died just six days prior. He was not in a great mood, and he was angry at the world.


After the service, we attended the gathering at my niece’s house. Food of all kinds, deli meat, ziti, meatballs, soup and of course cake and cookies.

The Deacon made his way to the house and announced loudly, “It’s Good Friday! You’re not supposed to eat meat!”   Okay, so most of us were raised Catholic, but I thought that rule went out with the horse and buggy and besides that, do you really think my 84 year old uncle, who just lost his life partner and his son, even knows what day it is?

The Deacon filled his plate with the meatless ziti and bread. On his way out the door he was seen carrying out a huge plate of cookies and cake “to go.” So much for a solemn fast day.

To me, this is the difference between religion and relationship with God. [Okay someone chime in here about how I shouldn’t be judging him, but let’s take that offline if you really must.]

Why would you want to embarrass a family who just lost two loved ones in such a short span of time, who are also, by the way, giving you free lunch? Do you really think God is happy because you didn’t eat any meat, but you hurt the feelings of the family who was already suffering?


And so, BRAVO Cousin Johnny. Don’t hold in all that anger and get stomach ulcers.

*Not their real name. You know the drill 😉

10 thoughts on “The Speakin’ Deacon

  1. I also did not see judgement in your words. In my opinion, he should shown more compassionate towards your family.The actions of the pastor reminded me of this..
    Matthew 12:1-12
    At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

    He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent.For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

    Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

    He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”


  2. So sorry. I’ve had two funeral experiences that really turned me off. One for an uncle of my husband’s where minister did a “fire and brimstone” sermon and said if we didn’t all repent immediately that Uncle XXX would not be able to rest in peace. The second was for a cousin of my husband where the minister didn’t even know her and just said she was a nice person….Really? That funeral lasted about 5 minutes.


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