Funerals are of course a solemn and dignified affair, and the one I attended the other day was no different, except that the Pastor administering it was of the old school, the old school that is, of Welsh hwyl (passion) and exuberant evangelical intent.
Half way through the service ( and I was actually starting to enjoy another womb-like re-entry), the old Pastor, let’s call him Dai Knox, threw up his arms in supplication and begged to know how many Welsh speakers there were in the Congregation.
Well now, this being as far south as you can get in South Wales, only three hands went up and a trifle gingerly at that – sadly, mine wasn’t one of them.
Undeterred, Dai Knox cast his fervour around and through the Sinners and howled, ‘ Never mind, the Lord will provide and I’m going to read this hymn out loud in Welsh anyway, so sod you all…..!’ Well, not quite perhaps, but not far off.
So there we all are, in respectful silence as Dai did his Welsh bit, when all of a sudden, the Lord touched his vocal chords and the bugger burst into song!
Hands waving, religious torment spouting forth and a damn all you sinners to Hell for not speaking Welsh! Seemed to be the idea.
Well, I was always taught that God loves a sinner, so I didn’t quite grasp what Dai Knox was getting so exercised about! Anyway, as we all left the Crematorium, an old uncle of mine sidled up to me and said, ‘You know, if you ‘ain’t struck oil in 20 minutes, bloody well give up……!’
I think there’s a moral in there somewhere?