Funerals

Death was everywhere for the Victorians, but it was never commonplace

4 May 2024 9:00 am

In a society obsessed with the trappings of grief, funerals were often elaborate occasions, with commemorative medals struck and strict rules applied to the period of mourning

Everyday life in the Eternal City: Roman Stories, by Jhumpa Lahiri, reviewed

14 October 2023 9:00 am

Each story circles around events both big and small, such as lunch at a simple trattoria, a birthday party, a summer holiday or the funeral of a friend

Funeral gatecrasher: The Black Dress, by Deborah Moggach, reviewed

7 August 2021 9:00 am

Here is a rare dud from the usually reliable Deborah Moggach. Her protagonist, Pru, finds herself alone at 69 after…

The importance of a good funeral

20 February 2021 9:00 am

A proper funeral is a great comfort

pagan

The pagan rites of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

23 September 2020 4:33 am

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg succumbed to cancer, #RestInPower immediately trended. The ACLU, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, actress Reese Witherspoon and the ostensibly…

funerals

Who deserves a funeral?

1 August 2020 4:20 am

No one would argue that Rep. John Lewis doesn’t deserve a proper memorial. He was a civil rights icon and…

joe biden strom thurmond

Remember when Joe Biden gave a eulogy for Strom Thurmond?

9 June 2020 8:59 pm

Biden did not attend the private funeral and burial of George Floyd today. Instead, Biden recorded a video to be…

The comfort of building your own coffin

1 February 2020 9:00 am

The rise of ‘coffin clubs’

The Polish electronic music revolution of the 1950s

16 November 2019 9:00 am

It was created in November 1957, a year before the BBC’s fabled Radiophonic Workshop, and was far more influential in…

Dear Mary: I’m disabled – how can I stop my carer being so controlling?

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am a disabled man with a good brain and an independent bent. However, I need help to wash…

Is the increasing secularisation of funerals a good thing?

23 March 2019 9:00 am

‘You’re thinking these girls all wrong,’ Miss Mai tells Enid in Winsome Pinnock’s play Leave Taking, adapted from the recent…

‘Catholic music is often excruciating – I call it “Joan Baez meets Hildegard of Bingen in a 1970s cocktail lounge.”’ Baez: Pierre Andrieu /AFP/Getty Images Bach: Rischgitz/Getty Images

J.S. Bach v. Joan Baez

15 September 2018 9:00 am

I was at a funeral the other day at which the music was so inspiring that I struggled to feel…

Dear Mary

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Q. Mary, I am what you would probably call a Sloane Ranger. I have great numbers of close friends and…

The slow (and ignominious) death of the British funeral

14 May 2016 9:00 am

I mourn for the traditional ceremony

Dear Mary: How do I address a magistrate of indeterminate sex?

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Q. Some years ago, while appearing as a barrister before a bench of three magistrates in the youth court, I…

Why I love undertakers

13 June 2015 9:00 am

By looking after the dead, funeral directors allow the living to love and mourn them

Dear Mary: Why it's fine to crash funerals

20 July 2013 9:00 am

Q. Regarding the writing of ‘no presents’ on an invitation (Dear Mary, 6 July), my own experience is that many…