Reverend Levi Okello, the priest at a small church in Uganda, has announced that Sunday funerals will no longer be allowed to take place.
St. Luke’s Church in Uganda, Chakwara was first started in 1920, and has thrived since then. It belongs to the Diocese of Western Anglicans in the Anglican Church of North America, and is Biblically-Orthodox. It is also part of the infamous Anglican Communion, a worldwide association of Anglican churches.
The Reverend coincidentally made the announcement on a burial site of a local man. The people had gathered there for the funeral and instead received a shocking announcement.
St. Luke’s Church hosts many different functions and events, such as fund-raising activities and baptisms. Many of these take place on Sundays, which Okello claims are the only days fully dedicated to the Lord. And because Okello hosts these church functions exist to glorify the Lord, he does not want irrelevant events to disrupt or interfere with them.
Naturally, Okello wants to keep his church’s priorities in check. And a church’s first duty is to God, not to the dead.
“Today has marked the end of presiding over a burial service on the Sabbath (Sunday). Sorry if you die thinking that the church will bury you on Sunday,” Okello said.
Not only did Okello forbid burials, but he also advised against making arrangements for funeral services for Sundays.
The announcement was met with mixed reactions. There were some of surprise and some of disappointment, but there were also some of amusement. The reason behind the amusement was that the Church of Uganda has no law against Sunday burials or funerals.
A day later, Okello said, “Though it has not been a policy in the church, we shall begin to implement it in Chakwara to give room for Sunday worship and allow other programs to run smoothly.”
Okello also recommended going through with Sunday burials due to the costs involved in embalming the dead. However, he still stood firm on his decision to forbid funeral services, and advised waiting until the next day.