Sunday, July 22, 2012

One Funeral, One wedding, Two Days

           On Friday we attended Dr. Anderson’s grandfather’s funeral in Accra. His name was Kwesi Cato and he passed at the age of 91. The service began at 8:30 am and ended around noon. The service consisted of singing many hymns, tributes from friends and other organizations, a sermon, and the closing of the casket.  The church was standing room only with about 1,000 people in attendance. The program for the service was 50 pages long. Mr. Kwesi was a very influential man. He was wealthy and highly educated. People traveled from all over Ghana to be in attendance. The service was very nice. People spoke from the heart about a man full of integrity and honor. His children and grandchildren spoke of his wisdom and love. I was glad to be in attendance. After the service we went to the cemetery. Here in Ghana they actually lower the body into the ground while everyone watches. Watching the casket being lowered was unsettling. It made his death real. Memories from my grandmother’s funeral last year came flooding back to me. After the graveside service was over we returned to the church for a thanksgiving service. They catered lunch so people ate, danced, and celebrated Mr. Kwesi’s life. Around 4pm we headed home. The celebration of life services continued Saturday and Sunday, but we didn’t make it since we were attending a fellow UGA student’s wedding.
            On Saturday we went to a wedding for Fedel and Sandra. It was great. It was probably one of the happiest weddings I’ve ever attended. The congregation celebrated this couple and their union. The wedding lasted just over three hours. We sang and danced. The couple exchanged vows, signed their wedding certificate, and the minister preached. The minister’s sermon was my favorite part of the wedding. He spoke to the family about supporting the marriage and ways they pull the husband and wife apart without even realizing it. He advised the friends to give them space during the first year. He charged the bride and groom with their responsibilities to the marriage. Basically the minister said all the things that too many people are afraid to say – marriage is serious and something to not enter lightly.  Maybe if more people heard what this minister had to say our divorce rates would be lower.  Tyra also sang at the wedding (she is good friends with the groom). She did an awesome job! Two interesting facts about Ghanaian weddings – the groom still removes the veil to ensure he is marrying the correct women and they still ask, “if any one knows any reason why this man and women shouldn’t be married speak now or forever hold your peace.” I though they only asked that in movies. I’ve never heard this asked at a real wedding before. Also, the bride and groom don’t kiss – they hugged and he kissed her hand. If my wedding one-day is half the celebration of this one, I’ll consider myself lucky. I have to say Ghanaians know how to celebrate.              
            This week we are working at Ridge Hospital in Accra. Pray that we have safe travels each day and clear discernment about where in the hospital we should be working.  

1 comment:

  1. Nice how you explained two, totally opposite aspects of life. Funerals and Weddings. Thanks a lot for sharing your story.