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In his book, Grace Notes and Other Fragments, Joseph Sittler wrote: "Most ministers are aware that it is a tough and delicate labor to insert the lively power of the Word of God into the rushing occupations and silent monologues of human beings." (p. 64) Two occasions at which the insertion of the lively power of the Word of God into the lives of people is a particularly tough and delicate labor are weddings and funerals. In the assemblies gathered to mark these life passages the pastor will, in many cases, be encountering a significant number of persons, perhaps a majority, with whom she/he has had no previous contact. Many in that significant number of persons may not "profess faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the Church, the faith in which we baptize." Both in our occasional service and in our Sunday assemblies there is an increasing number of persons who are divorced, alienated, displaced, or alone.

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