Recently I was at a funeral when something rather amusing happened at the graveside. It's about time I did a 'funeral fun' anyway!
It was a standard Catholic funeral, the father did the usual ceremony by the grave. But then just as he was about to end he asked if everyone would hold hands. Rather unexpected and somewhat awkward. I saw the father nod to the conductor, obviously wanting him to get the ball rolling.
So the conductor looked around and very awkwardly took the hand of the nearest mourner. Both the mourner and conductor were obviously not comfortable at all. Who wants to hold hands with a stranger on a funeral? Everyone else looked at them oddly to, obviously thinking it quite strange. There they stood, in front of everyone holding hands by a grave. To make things even more awkward for them nobody else held hands. Not one person followed the example. Making their hand holding all the more obvious and out of place.
Even worse was the father very quickly reached the point where the conductor had to lower the coffin. It was a mechanical lower, so only the conductor would be the conductors job. But he was now stuck holding hands with a complete stranger.
There stood the conductor, holding a holy water container and crucifix in one hand, and a strangers hand in the other. Now he needed to go lower the coffin. The conductor looked around for a moment, thinking about what to do. Then he had an idea. He politely asked the mourner he was holding hands with to take the holy water and crucifix, thus making it look like he had gone up to the mourner for an actual reason.
He confidently made his way over to lower the coffin. I left shortly after this so I did not see or hear what people thought of everything. But I did think it was a great recovery from the conductor. Cleaver and brought back some semblance of his dignity.
Funerals are often strange and unexpected, thinking on your feet and being creative is very useful!