You learn more at a funeral than at a feast— After all, that's where we'll end up. We might discover something from it. Ecclesiastes 7:2 (MSG)
As a pastor, I performed many weddings and many funerals. People think I'm strange when I tell them that I prefer presiding at the latter. It's not that I don't enjoy celebrating life and love. I think the joining of a couple is a great event. Yet, like Solomon, I've noticed that, from a spiritual perspective, there is more going on at a funeral than at a wedding.
Weddings are, too often, a spiritual distraction. The bride is stressed out about every detail from her dress to the flower arrangements to the stupid veil that won't stay in place. The mother of the bride is stressed about making this the wedding she never had and wanting everything to be just right for her guests. The father of the bride is stressed about the cost. The parents of the groom is wondering if their son is man enough to take care of and provide for this woman. The bridesmaids, if they are single, are wondering when it's going to be their turn. The groomsmen are hungover from the bachelor party and just want to get to the reception. The groom is just wanting to get to the wedding night. God is generally a long way from people's thoughts at a wedding.
At a funeral, there's a dead body in the room. For those in attendance, there's no escaping the reality that someday it will be you lying in that casket. Funerals are often the only place that people honestly consider their eternal destiny. If someone is wondering where they're going when they die, I'd like to be there to have a chat with them.