Rules: A blog in under 23 seconds

What is more important: rules or people?

Recently I was asked if I would conduct a funeral for a dog. It was an unusual request and strictly speaking Anglican Priests, like me, do not conduct funerals for animals. The enquirer explained the situation.

dog funeral

It was a sad story. She and her husband had found an injured puppy abandoned on a beach. The couple took care of the puppy, naming him O Jai. But after a few months O Jai had died. They considered O Jai as their little boy and were very sad at his death.

Could I help? Well yes! I said that I would conduct a simple service for them. I would say prayers of thankfulness for O Jai’s life and for the love that O Jai had given and received. And I  would pray for them in their sadness and grief. I’m glad I said yes, even though it is not strictly allowed! The simple service was very helpful for the couple. They shed tears during the ceremony, expressed their feelings and make a formalised farewell to O Jai. We need ceremonies to mark the significance moments in our lives.

Can you think of times when rules have got in the way of helping another person? Have you ever hid behind a rule rather than doing something for another? We need rules, but if the rules are hurting others then the needs of the person are more important than obedience to a rule.

Mark Rogers, 02/09/2013

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