It's a fact that we've become frit of marking the passing of any popular household name. We used to have a ceremony to mark their going, using their catchphrases or popular song lyrics as appropriate. But now we daren't. The chances of their lifetime of hidden wrong-doing being dragged up are just too high. As a result, we end up missing a lot of good people so as not to celebrate the lives of random (and unsuspected) bad apples. Such are the high costs of Spiritual Health and Safety.
So instead we've produced this Litany of Unmarking a Life. In the event of any departed celebrity being posthumously hauled before the Court of Public Infamy, we will use this to rectify our previous Marking ceremony:
Inasmuch as the departed N has now been tried and posthumously found guilty of nefarious wrongdoing, crimes and various kinds of awfulness, we hereby declare our former marking of hes/her life to be unmarked.
We recognise that s/he was not, as we previously said, a national treasure, champion of the faith, star of the political firmament, wise old soul or celebrated eccentric.
Rather s/he (but probably he) was a strange individual, a nasty piece of work [specific alleged crimes may be mentioned] and we've not heard the last of it, mark my words.
And, now we think of it, we realise that we actually suspected s/he was a bit - you know, kind of creepy - all along.
And so we strike the account of our former Marking of their Passing from our Book of Occasions with the Big Marker Pen. Let the Marking be as if it never was. And though we won't say we want to consign him/her to the Smoky Place - for that is not ours to wish - we will pray that God is more merciful than we would be. Or s/he deserves. Or we would allow.