Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, the Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, has expressed concern about the development of extravagant and expensive funerals.
He said: "Funerals have become extremely extravagant and many have decried the development. It is insensitive to the plight of the bereaved families."
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle was officiating at the funeral service of Madam Rebecca Hawa Yakubu, First Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, who died in London, UK, in March after a terminal illness.
The funeral held at the forecourt of the State House brought together over hundreds of people from all walks of life including President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle noted that people had to borrow money for the funerals of their beloved and thereafter spent years paying debts.
"These are against traditional norms, religious norms and especially against Christian principles. The days when we visited the bereaved families with food and drinks to help serve guests are gone. These days people go to funerals to eat a lot and drink and get drunk," he noted.
He said Madam Yakubu, a Catholic by faith, was dedicated, especially to the cause of women and children. Her death did not mean an end to life but her life had only changed, he said.
President Kufuor and Vice President Aliu Mahama accompanied by some Ministers filed past the body which was in a casket covered with a white garment and a Holy Bible and a crucifix bearing the symbol of Christ placed on it.
This, the priest explained, was a symbol of a Christian burial for Madam Rebecca Hawa Yakubu.
Madam Yakubu, a native of Pusiga in the Upper East region, was born in Tarkwa in the Western region on March 24, 1948 to Mr Yakubu Awinaba and Hajia Azore.
She attended the Zebilla Middle School, Navrongo Secondary School and Accra Polytechnic where she obtained a certificate in Institutional Management.
She recently obtained a Master's Degree in Leadership and Governance from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration in Accra.