Watch and learn: Arlington Cemetery documentary

I watched a 2004 National Geographic Special on PBS tonight: Arlington: Field of Honor (WGBH Boston page). It is obviously on as a lead-up to Memorial Day and follows a day of funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, and outlines its history. Chances are you can still watch it if you get PBS, and it is also available for purchase.

Anyone preparing for the ministry should watch it, and I recommend it to ministers as food for thought. The conscious role of ritual is riviting. Note its use as a temporary palliative to grief. Consider the role of a respresentative — here, the tomb guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns on behalf of the nation — and the responsibilities that representative has. (Such representation is at the key to the word parson.) There are also some practical lessons on the management of funerals.

Can’t watch it? Here’s the lesson: give your best to the memory of the dead and their mourners. The film shows one way to do it.

One Reply to “Watch and learn: Arlington Cemetery documentary”

  1. Interesting questionb with this, what training in funerals and grief do Pastors recieve? Or is it all on-the-job training?

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