London, October 20 (ANI): A Church of England vicar has criticised the rise of secular funerals, saying how the tunes of Tina Turner and Frank Sinatra played at services make him feel "like a lemon".
Father Ed Tomlinson, priest of St Barnabas' Church in Tunbridge Wells, a traditional Anglo-Catholic run parish, lamented the fact that the place of hymns and prayers was often taken by a "poem from Nan" or a "saccharine message from a pop star".
"In the last few years it has become painfully obvious that many families I have conducted funerals for have absolutely no desire for any Christian content whatsoever," the Telegraph quoted him as saying in his personal blog.
"I have then stood at the Crem like a lemon, wondering why on earth I am present at the funeral of somebody led in by the tunes of Tina Turner, summed up in pithy platitudes of sentimental and secular poets and sent into the furnace with 'I Did it My Way' blaring out across the speakers!
"To be brutally honest I can think of 100 better ways of spending my time as a priest on God's earth," he added.
Tomlinson's opinion evoked mixed response with some sharing his point of view while others slamming him as conservative.
Sophie Maher said: "Who are you to say that "a poem from Nan" is less meaningful than spiel from a priest who hardly knew the person whose funeral he is officiating at? How dare you be so arrogant and presumptuous as to think your way is the only way?"
Catherine Hylton, a parishoner, said: "I am not a religious person in the traditional sense but I do thank someone every day for the life I am blessed with. It is not your God, Father Ed, but mine, who is very different.
"When my grandfather descended into the crem it was to Goodbye Sunshine by the Beatles and everyone there thought it was beautiful."
But, Jane Geer said: "You're my sort of bloke Father Ed. I think that most cremations I have been to that have been run by a humanist have all been more than off key.
"Give me a good burial with a proper vicar anytime. It's the difference between Cods Roe and Caviar..." (ANI)