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Funerals are a bit like musicals. Discuss.

To St.Joseph’s Church in Wealdstone. My old friend Pat Callanan died just before Christmas and I was there for the old Irish tradition of receiving the body into the church on the night before the funeral. St. Joe’s is right next to my old school and it felt odd to return to everything I’d left behind. I’ve long thought that the words of the prayers I was expected to recite and still knew by heart are utter nonsense, but I was reminded of seeing Mamma Mia at the Prince Edward Theatre. When everyone leapt to their feet to sing along, what was I going to do? Remain seated, pompously refusing to join in? Or jump up too and recite the words I still knew by heart? The latter, obviously. If I’d paid my respects to Abba, it would be unthinkable not to pay them to Pat.

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