In 1717, Louis XIV of France died. Louis, who called himself “the Great,” was the monarch who declared, “I am the State!” His court was the most magnificent in Europe and his funeral the most spectacular. His body lay in a golden coffin. To dramatize his greatness, orders had been given that the cathedral would be very dimly lit with only a special candle set above the coffin. Thousands waited in hushed silence. Then, Bishop Massillon began to speak. Reaching down slowly, he snuffed out the candle and said, “Only God is great!”
Source: Malphurs, Aubrey, and Keith Willhite. “Perspectives on Death and Dying.” A Contemporary Handbook for Weddings & Funerals and Other Occasions. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Pubs., 2003. 297. Print.