Is this appropriate?
Yay
25.7% (9)
25.7% (9)
Nay
62.9% (22)
62.9% (22)
Other
11.4% (4)
11.4% (4)
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Poll: funerals: a comment on respect for the deceased

I recently attended the visitation and funeral of the grandfather of a good friend of mine. To be honest, I had never met the man, although I had heard a great deal about him, I was only there for emotional support, she needed it quite badly.

In any case, this man's accomplishments were incredible. Bear with me, I do have a point.

A 94 year old veteran of WWII, he'd been awarded the distinguished service cross, two silver stars, and one bronze star. (nearly as often as not given posthumously, these are awarded for various levels of gallantry above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of life and limb, IE. dragging wounded comrades to safety while under heavy fire, evacuating civilians stranded in a fire zone, etc.)

Upon being discharged, he apparently decided he still hadn't had enough, and served at the volunteer fire department for the next thirty years in varying capacity.

All accounts of him I had heard point to him having been of exceptional character, kindhearted, charitable, and honorable. I could go on about the things he has done, but I think you may have the idea. The only negative I might have to add is in terms of raising his children, who I am... less than impressed with.

Regardless, I had expected the focus at the visitation to be on the great things done in life by the deceased. How we could be inspired to give our all for the sake of others as he had done on numerous occasions, etc, etc. It was a Christian funeral service after all, and many of his actions pretty damn well reflected the teachings of Jesus.

Instead, they spent about five minutes to mention his military service and almost nothing else, then stated that it didn't matter nearly as much as him having died with faith. The rest of the service was primarily spent congratulating each other on being on the fast track to heaven (I badly wanted to yell "bullshit" concerning a few of the individuals involved in that), and oh so subtly warning anyone in the audience who didn't happen to meet that description to shape up or burn.

I found all of this to be incredibly insulting to the deceased. I understand what they believe, and to some degree why they believe it, but they managed to more than imply that the life long efforts of the man lying there right in front of them, whom they had at least ostensibly loved a great deal, had been both futile and unappreciated, that the only thing that ever actually mattered about him was blind devotion to an unknowable concept. I have desired to strike members of the clergy before, but the objects of that desire were generally not within actual visual range, much less arm's reach. I am not ashamed to admit that not causing a scene took quite a bit of effort.

I promised a point to all of this somewhere, what was it again? Oh yes

Even as an agnostic firmly convinced that death simply means oblivion, I expect that some level of respect be shown for the dead, particularly in terms of the things they accomplished in life. Using the funeral day of such a distinguished man's death to blatantly spread religious dogma, rather than celebrating his life and/or mourning his loss, (preferably with more emphasis on the former) is in my opinion abominable.

Any thoughts? Similar experiences? Want to tell me that I'm overreacting and to shut up already?

You yourself said you never met him, how can you possibly know what he would have wanted at his funeral?

Since it was a Christian funeral I will say this.

The only time the clergy should mention faith is in regard to that the deceased will go to heaven and the family and friends of said person shouldn't feel sad since the deceased is in a better and happier place. They mention that for comfort and a hope that later they will see the person again if they go there too.

Anything more than that is just shitty. No one should be using a person's death as a platform for something, and a person of the cloth should've known better. Like you said, it should be a celebration of the life that the deceased lived and should be a time about him and not something else.

I've done a few funerals and a few times when that's happened I wanted to leave or punch the clergy for doing that. So no, I don't think you're overreacting, it's just poor taste.

At my mothers funeral I think there was a bit too much mention of religion, heaven and Jesus etc. considering she lost her faith quite a while before she passed (to credit them they did mention the doubt she had, but still respected her decisions highly), I was sat there thinking "I wish I could believe all of the things they're saying about her death were true" because it is a comforting thought thinking of your deceased loved ones to still be somewhere after death.

I think remembering them and what they did is a lot more important than fixating on the fact that they are supposedly in heaven/were faithful etc . because a funeral (IMO) should be about celebrating that persons life and remembering what they have done for you, them having religion doesn't change any of that.

That said it should still be there to comfort those that have faith I guess, I wouldn't want to take that away from them because I know how hard it is to deal with the idea of your loved ones no longer "being".

Poll question is too vague to answer. "Is this appropriate?" Was what appropriate? The service or your reaction to the service?

If you're there to be emotional support, then STFU and be there for emotional support.
Or, if your disdain for the content of the service outweighs your desire to support your friend, then politely excuse yourself and GTFO.

You voluntarily attended a Christian religious service. So, the amount of fucks I can give about you not liking the amount of Christianity being preached is zero.

madwarper:
Poll question is too vague to answer. "Is this appropriate?" Was what appropriate? The service or your reaction to the service?

If you're there to be emotional support, then STFU and be there for emotional support.
Or, if your disdain for the content of the service outweighs your desire to support your friend, then politely excuse yourself and GTFO.

You voluntarily attended a Christian religious service. So, the amount of fucks I can give about you not liking the amount of Christianity being preached is zero.

I'm going to disagree with this and say Heronblade has every right to be offended at the service and to complain- at least to us. He probably shouldn't complain to the people involved unless he were to find out that the deceased's friends and family also agree that the service was out of line.

All funeral services are in one way or another selfish acts for the benefit of the bereaved as opposed to for the benefit of the deceased. But if a funeral is to have any meaning at all, it should be to celebrate the life of the deceased. Using it to big-up yourself is not just crass, it turns it into a pointless exercise. You might as well not even waste the plot of earth, you could accomplish just as much by staying indoors and just telling yourself how great you are while leaving the dead to rot. Personally, I kinda hope when I die not to have a funeral like the one's I've been to, but even the Christian funerals I've been to have at least had the pretense of genuinely celebrating the deceased. This funeral sounds like it was out of the ordinary and out of line.

I know the feeling, although it was a little different for me. Both of my great Grandmothers were religious, one was a Jehovah's witness and the other was a Old Apostolic Lutheran (a very conservative christain sect that in my opinion is more of a cult), and, as expected, they both had religious funerals. I'm an atheist, but I attended both funerals because I knew it was important to my family as well as out of love for my Great Grandmothers. However, I found myself getting rather upset how, at the funerals, the person giving the eulogy, kept on going on about my Grandmothers (in both cases) great faith in god and how much they did for the church, and how much they loved the church, and just generally focusing on the religious aspect of their lives, and not on them as a person, as a member of my family. It just felt so hollow to me and I found it very very upsetting, as did all my brothers, and more than a few of my cousins.

madwarper:
Poll question is too vague to answer. "Is this appropriate?" Was what appropriate? The service or your reaction to the service?

If you're there to be emotional support, then STFU and be there for emotional support.
Or, if your disdain for the content of the service outweighs your desire to support your friend, then politely excuse yourself and GTFO.

You voluntarily attended a Christian religious service. So, the amount of fucks I can give about you not liking the amount of Christianity being preached is zero.

My reaction to the service was to remain quiet and respectful, and continue to be there for my friend, who had just lost the last family member that actually gave a damn about her.

I'm a terrible liar, but am pretty damn good at keeping my mouth shut and my emotions hidden. This thread is the only outward indication of distress or displeasure I have given over this matter, and at least for the time being this will continue to be the only place I say anything on the subject. I'm not asking for judgement or advice on my actions concerning this event, much less sympathy for my poor abused feelings, all I am asking of you is your opinion of the situation I described.

Yes, I find that to be disrespectful.

Had it been my grandfather I probably would have made that very clear to everyone present.

Assuming that's not what he would have wanted, then yes, I find that to be rather annoying. I realize that the objective most of these preachers have when spreading dogma is the salvation of others (or to reaffirm their own beliefs by recruiting more members, depending on the person), but the funeral was for the man, not for someone to spread their faith. Based on what little I know about the man, he was a damned hero, and that deserved to be highlighted and celebrated.

evilneko:
Yes, I find that to be disrespectful.

Had it been my grandfather I probably would have made that very clear to everyone present.

Also, this.

It was on Church property, presided over by a priest over whom the audience know they have absolutely no democratic control, yet still choose to conduct the ceremony. He can say whatever he wants.

It even sounds like most of the audience was fine with his preaching anyway, and since funerals exist for the living, I don't see a problem. His heirs were fine with it, he no longer exist to not be so, your general opinion on how the church should conduct its ceremonies count for nothing.

Who knows, ol' grandpa might've been a religious fanatic who'd love nothing more than to have his death used to shame and threaten non-Christians. You sure it's not the attack on you as a non-christian you're upset about, rather than some abstract notion of disrespect towards a dead grandpa whose preferences you know nothing of?

Yes, I think it's disrespectful.

Something like this but worse happened at my father's funeral. There are a lot of things I'd do differently if I had it to do over again (as next of kin-- as he'd divorced my mother-- it fell into my hands to plan), a big one is that I'd deal with the spiritual aspects myself. I'm a hell of a lot more qualified to lead an interfaith remembrance service than the idiot Methodist minister recommended by the funeral home. My dad didn't think much about religion. Neither my mother nor I ever remember him mentioning it in any way, I'm pretty sure if he'd known of the term, he'd have identified as an apatheist while nominally Lutheran. But a service is just what you do-- there was no Lutheran church in town and neither of us had any idea that this minister would be THAT BAD.

Point of order: My dad lived in a town of about 1200 people, and he owned the only auto parts store. He pretty much knew everyone. Everyone except this minister, apparently. He asked my mother and I a bunch of questions about my dad, so far so good. Come the funeral, and the only thing this guy cares about is that he *died without being Saved*. He told us my father might be suffering in eternity for his failure to be saved, and that we should avoid doing the same. There was a funeral hall full of people having the "oh god wtf no no don't make a scene" reaction at the same time, nobody said a word, just lots of... *looks*. Hell, my very Catholic mother, who hates my Paganism, even agreed that it would have been better if I'd just led the service myself. There's a lot to be said for the "say a few very vague words about spirits and good afterlives, then get the hell out of the way and let people come up and give their own remembrances" school of funerals, I think.

Back OT: Unless there's a set liturgy, like for a funeral Mass, there should be some focus on the dead person's Deeds. Religion is a facilitator in rites of passage, to give people a framework to connect to each other. They're ultimately about the people, and the continuation of tradition. To do that *well*, religion sometimes needs to get out of its own way.

people do a lot of disrespectful things at funerals. a friend of mine had her grandfather die last year. he was jewish, his daughter gave him a christian funeral despite him saying he didnt want one.

they say funerals are for the living and sadly there is a negative side to that as well

As I learned last weekend when my parents flipped their shit when I said I didn't want to go to my own high school graduation (yes, I ended up having to go. But come on, it's fucking HIGH SCHOOL. You have to try pretty hard to not graduate) ceremonies aren't about the person being celebrated, they're about the other people who want to feel validated at having played a role in the person's life/graduation/marriage/success/having of children/etc.

And I have only been to one funeral, but I know that my grandmother was a very devout Christian who would have wanted a heavily Christian funeral. This however is completely inappropriate. Not necessarily the religious bent to the whole thing (I didn't know him so I can't comment on his faith) but the fact that they kind of just rushed that to start talking about Heaven and God and such. Considering that he was a damn hero, they should definitely have given that a little more time. How about the lives he saved or the complete selflessness he demonstrated in doing so, and if you HAD to put a Christian spin on that, make a note of how it reflects the teachings of Christ?

It's a religious service, what do you want? In the Christian faith worldly deeds do, in fact, pale in comparison to one's faith in the Savior. To you, He's some imaginary construct -I get that- but that's not the case for Christians. Even Paul, essentially the Biblical founder of the Christian church, said that he was the 'chief of all sinners.' So yeah, Christians take that stuff seriously, and given that it was a Christian service; they're gonna bring it up because in their eyes it is -in fact- the opposite of disrespect to hold someone's life-long faith as an example to live by. Their deeds on the planet will eventually fade and be forgotten, but their salvation is eternal.

Not knowing the deceased at all it's hard to judge these things as it might have fit with their attitude.

That being said I've seen people I've known for a fact weren't big on converting people even if they were christian used as a choose like they did or burn example during their services.

It's an ugly shitty thing to do that doesn't respect the dead person who's funeral it is one bit when handled that way. But in this particular instance for all you know he was conversion happy and would have wanted it that way.

So Eh borderline.

Imperator_DK:
It was on Church property, presided over by a priest over whom the audience know they have absolutely no democratic control, yet still choose to conduct the ceremony. He can say whatever he wants.

It even sounds like most of the audience was fine with his preaching anyway, and since funerals exist for the living, I don't see a problem. His heirs were fine with it, he no longer exist to not be so, your general opinion on how the church should conduct its ceremonies count for nothing.

Who knows, ol' grandpa might've been a religious fanatic who'd love nothing more than to have his death used to shame and threaten non-Christians. You sure it's not the attack on you as a non-christian you're upset about, rather than some abstract notion of disrespect towards a dead grandpa whose preferences you know nothing of?

senordesol:
It's a religious service, what do you want? In the Christian faith worldly deeds do, in fact, pale in comparison to one's faith in the Savior. To you, He's some imaginary construct -I get that- but that's not the case for Christians. Even Paul, essentially the Biblical founder of the Christian church, said that he was the 'chief of all sinners.' So yeah, Christians take that stuff seriously, and given that it was a Christian service; they're gonna bring it up because in their eyes it is -in fact- the opposite of disrespect to hold someone's life-long faith as an example to live by. Their deeds on the planet will eventually fade and be forgotten, but their salvation is eternal.

Funeral home, not a church, with a priest hired to conduct the ceremony, and most of the family was participating in one way or another. I'd actually be significantly less upset over the whole affair if I just saw some ass of a priest choosing to do his own thing rather than an entire crowd.

I fully expected the issue of salvation to be brought up well before I walked through those doors, and was quite prepared to shrug off references, subtle or not, direct or not, to people like myself being headed for damnation. Only one person in that crowd actually knew of my lack of faith, and it is pretty tough to insult me directly in any event.

The primary issue I found with the service was not in terms of them bringing up faith, but in terms of letting it dominate the proceedings, in a manner that was quite unrelated to the deceased. The purpose of a funeral service has always been to give people a chance to say goodbye, to come to terms with their loss. Not grandstanding about how great "team Assholes For Jesus" is.

As mentioned, while I very highly doubt that this would be what "red" would have wanted based on what I do know, it is true that I cannot state that with certainty, but the impression I received as an outsider was that those directly participating in this cared little about or for the man or anything he had done. Since I damn well know that was not the case, I knew some of them, and a few others were fellow veterans of the same unit, something else has got to be wrong.

senordesol:
It's a religious service, what do you want? In the Christian faith worldly deeds do, in fact, pale in comparison to one's faith in the Savior. To you, He's some imaginary construct -I get that- but that's not the case for Christians. Even Paul, essentially the Biblical founder of the Christian church, said that he was the 'chief of all sinners.' So yeah, Christians take that stuff seriously, and given that it was a Christian service; they're gonna bring it up because in their eyes it is -in fact- the opposite of disrespect to hold someone's life-long faith as an example to live by. Their deeds on the planet will eventually fade and be forgotten, but their salvation is eternal.

It's a service for the benefit of the bereaved and the memory of the departed, it's not some fucking soapbox for whatever religious organisation thinks it has the monopoly on belief in the current nation. I really couldn't give two shits about whether the priest thinks the departed is going to hell, he'll shut the fuck up about it and show respect to the mourning and the memory of whoever has died, or he should just piss off.

Heronblade:
-snip-

Was this a Baptist or Evangelical service, by chance? My mother went to a Baptist wedding once, and she said the pastor stood there for like ten minutes preaching about death and fire and brimstone, at a wedding. Right as the bride and groom stood before him holding hands. And what's worse, one of the guests in attendance had just lost her husband to a sudden heart attack no more than a month previously. Needless to say she was in pretty terrible shape by the end of the ceremony.

There's no way the pastor could have known about this lady, but still. Ten minutes about death in the middle of a wedding service is a little overkill. Yes death is a part of life and the vows, but breaking down the whole dichotomy of separating of the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, and all that other stuff is just unnecessary.

Elcarsh:

senordesol:
It's a religious service, what do you want? In the Christian faith worldly deeds do, in fact, pale in comparison to one's faith in the Savior. To you, He's some imaginary construct -I get that- but that's not the case for Christians. Even Paul, essentially the Biblical founder of the Christian church, said that he was the 'chief of all sinners.' So yeah, Christians take that stuff seriously, and given that it was a Christian service; they're gonna bring it up because in their eyes it is -in fact- the opposite of disrespect to hold someone's life-long faith as an example to live by. Their deeds on the planet will eventually fade and be forgotten, but their salvation is eternal.

It's a service for the benefit of the bereaved and the memory of the departed, it's not some fucking soapbox for whatever religious organisation thinks it has the monopoly on belief in the current nation. I really couldn't give two shits about whether the priest thinks the departed is going to hell, he'll shut the fuck up about it and show respect to the mourning and the memory of whoever has died, or he should just piss off.

You couldn't give two shits about what the priest has to say, and that's your prerogative. If you don't want the subject of faith and salvation coming up, however, I would also assume that you wouldn't engage a priest for the proceedings. From what the OP described, this guy didn't just muscle his way in and say 'lemme talk to you about Jesus', he was asked to preside over the ceremony in a religious capacity. So the fact is: he did exactly what the bereaved (for whom the service benefits) asked him to do.

Heronblade:

Funeral home, not a church, with a priest hired to conduct the ceremony, and most of the family was participating in one way or another. I'd actually be significantly less upset over the whole affair if I just saw some ass of a priest choosing to do his own thing rather than an entire crowd.

I fully expected the issue of salvation to be brought up well before I walked through those doors, and was quite prepared to shrug off references, subtle or not, direct or not, to people like myself being headed for damnation. Only one person in that crowd actually knew of my lack of faith, and it is pretty tough to insult me directly in any event.

The primary issue I found with the service was not in terms of them bringing up faith, but in terms of letting it dominate the proceedings, in a manner that was quite unrelated to the deceased. The purpose of a funeral service has always been to give people a chance to say goodbye, to come to terms with their loss. Not grandstanding about how great "team Assholes For Jesus" is.

As mentioned, while I very highly doubt that this would be what "red" would have wanted based on what I do know, it is true that I cannot state that with certainty, but the impression I received as an outsider was that those directly participating in this cared little about or for the man or anything he had done. Since I damn well know that was not the case, I knew some of them, and a few others were fellow veterans of the same unit, something else has got to be wrong.

As you say: you did not know the man. Yet you presume to know how he would wish to be remembered by those who did.

If everyone engaged in the proceedings (as you indicate) opted to talk about faith; that suggests to me that is how he'd have liked it. Religion -particularly Christianity- is a huge part of people's lives. Again, faith is supposed to supersede worldly deeds. Salvation trumps Earthly treasures. It would not surprise me in the least if one of the things you may have left out in your initial praise of 'Red' (whether knowingly, intentionally, or not) is that he was very active in the church. It seems to me that his friends and family (while sad about the loss) were ecstatic that such a good, decent, and -most of all- faithful man had gone to his reward.

Instead, however, you call them assholes and treat the faith so preciously clung to as a sort of 'also ran', which belies either a particular contempt or ignorance of that faith (and I'm sure you'll have no problem admitting to at least one of those).

At first I thought your only problem was with the service and priest, but given that this how the majority of his friends and family chose to send him off, I wonder who are you to judge?

I actually had a similar experience with my Grandfather's funeral a few months ago. My Grandmother didn't want there to be too many stories told about him or long eulogies. Fair enough, those can get kind of depressing and no one really needs that with an event that's already quite sad by its very nature. Except apparently the pastor they lined up for this thing took that to mean, spend most of the hour or however long it was talking about what a good Christian my Grandfather was (despite barely knowing him) and how we can only be saved by accepting Christ. I wanted to walk up there and punch him, not because I'm an atheist and I had no interest in his attempts to scare us all into Jesus' loving arms, but because the service wasn't about my Grandfather thanks to this guy.

Eulogies or no, talk about the man and who he was damn it. Talk a bit about why he'll be missed by everyone there. Don't spend an hour talking about how my Grandfather was such a good man BECAUSE he was a Christian when I can say with nearly 27 years of knowing the man personally that that's not the case at all. His religion was incidental to the kind of man he was. I wasn't the only one offended by how completely off in left field the whole thing was. Even my very religious extended family thought the whole thing was pretty bad. I'd say it was outright disrespectful. He was a human being who was loved and who will be missed now that he's gone. Not a vehicle for trying to guilt everyone into going to church a bit more.

Elcarsh:

senordesol:
It's a religious service, what do you want? In the Christian faith worldly deeds do, in fact, pale in comparison to one's faith in the Savior. To you, He's some imaginary construct -I get that- but that's not the case for Christians. Even Paul, essentially the Biblical founder of the Christian church, said that he was the 'chief of all sinners.' So yeah, Christians take that stuff seriously, and given that it was a Christian service; they're gonna bring it up because in their eyes it is -in fact- the opposite of disrespect to hold someone's life-long faith as an example to live by. Their deeds on the planet will eventually fade and be forgotten, but their salvation is eternal.

It's a service for the benefit of the bereaved and the memory of the departed, it's not some fucking soapbox for whatever religious organisation thinks it has the monopoly on belief in the current nation. I really couldn't give two shits about whether the priest thinks the departed is going to hell, he'll shut the fuck up about it and show respect to the mourning and the memory of whoever has died, or he should just piss off.

And you know that this isn't what the bereaved or the departed would have wanted because..... they must think like you?

senordesol:

Instead, however, you call them assholes and treat the faith so preciously clung to as a sort of 'also ran', which belies either a particular contempt or ignorance of that faith (and I'm sure you'll have no problem admitting to at least one of those).

At first I thought your only problem was with the service and priest, but given that this how the majority of his friends and family chose to send him off, I wonder who are you to judge?

It is entirely possible that I am biased in this matter, though not out of contempt or ignorance of the faith, but rather contempt of many of the individuals in question. None of whom struck me as being particularly religious to begin with, they certainly didn't display it in their day to day life.

Perhaps a little more background is necessary. I inferred earlier that my friend and her family did not get along very well. Her husband left her and their then 3 year old child, his only stated reason for doing so was that he simply wasn't cut out for married life. At a time she most needed their support, she was effectively abandoned like worthless trash by her family, her grandfather was her only living relative that continued to show her kindness after that event, the others apparently having decided she had nothing to offer them.

The quickest way to describe that family I can think of would be to call them a pack of Scrooges. They're obsessed with themselves and getting ahead, including on multiple occasions at the expense of those they ostensibly care for. So no, I am not particularly inclined to assume they have the best of intentions when I see them apparently slighting the only other individual involved that I feel I can admire.

Heronblade:

senordesol:

Instead, however, you call them assholes and treat the faith so preciously clung to as a sort of 'also ran', which belies either a particular contempt or ignorance of that faith (and I'm sure you'll have no problem admitting to at least one of those).

At first I thought your only problem was with the service and priest, but given that this how the majority of his friends and family chose to send him off, I wonder who are you to judge?

It is entirely possible that I am biased in this matter, though not out of contempt or ignorance of the faith, but rather contempt of many of the individuals in question. None of whom struck me as being particularly religious to begin with, they certainly didn't display it in their day to day life.

Perhaps a little more background is necessary. I inferred earlier that my friend and her family did not get along very well. Her husband left her and their then 3 year old child, his only stated reason for doing so was that he simply wasn't cut out for married life. At a time she most needed their support, she was effectively abandoned like worthless trash by her family, her grandfather was her only living relative that continued to show her kindness after that event, the others apparently having decided she had nothing to offer them.

The quickest way to describe that family I can think of would be to call them a pack of Scrooges. They're obsessed with themselves and getting ahead, including on multiple occasions at the expense of those they ostensibly care for. So no, I am not particularly inclined to assume they have the best of intentions when I see them apparently slighting the only other individual involved that I feel I can admire.

It sounds to me then, that your problem lies with the family itself and that you don't believe that the people participating in the memorial were at all genuine in their 'grieving'. That's valid, but doesn't have much to do with bringing up faith or salvation as pretty much anything they would have said would come from a place of usurpation.

If they were genuine in their love and admiration of this man, and were devout and practicing men and women of faith themselves would you still have a problem with how the service proceeded? If not, then your grievance truly lies with their disrespect in hypocrisy. If so, then there's really no need to bring up what manner of relationship existed previously.

This kind of reminds me of that "Baptising dead atheists" thread we had a while back. I'll say the same thing now that I more or less said then: everybody deserves a respectful funeral service or memorial ceremony that reflects what they held true and important during their life. Not so much for the benefit of the deceased - who I'm pretty sure is past caring - but because to do otherwise would reflect poorly on the living relatives.

Well, about funerals, all I can say I'm glad that I won't have to attend my own. I don't particularly like them, because they, at least around here, are all about gossip and showing off you have a prettier coat than your neighbor. Frankly, I won't really care what folks will say about me on mine cause I'll be, you know...dead.

But to be a little less snarky, funerals seem to me more like a way of coping than they are a way to "pay your respects"...I mean, okay you likely still do that, but it's going to be more about you dealing with the loss (and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, mind you). I don't know, I'm just one of those folks who prefer respects being paid to them while they're still around to appreciate them.

I don't think, however, that I should be telling other people how they're supposed to deal with the situation, to each their own.

Okay, snark mode back on. If being dead is a surefire way to suddenly get respected by everyone, can you point me to the nearest gun?

Heronblade:

Any thoughts? Similar experiences? Want to tell me that I'm overreacting and to shut up already?

Bottom line, if you want to ensure you are not religiously preached to at a funeral/wedding/etc., then don't have it ministered by someone religious.

Who is the "they" doing the speaking about the deceased?

1) If it was the family, blame them.

2)If a priest (pick as many as apply):
a) He may have not known the deceased (well), and be reliant on the next of kin and friends supplying details, in which case, blame the family and friends.
b) He must have been okayed or actively selected by whoever was responsible for arranging the service, in which case blame them for picking a crappy priest.
c) He may have been picked by the deceased, in which case either blame the deceased or respect his decision of priest deemed suitable for his funeral.
d) Blame the priest for spending more time on God than the deceased in any case.

Sounds pretty typical of xtian funerals.
I've had to attend several of these events, and the bulk of each service is made up of praising gawd, explaining how this religion is the only path to salvation, and usually mentioning how actions of the deceased led them away from the path. Less than 5 minutes is usually spent on talking about the actual deceased.
The final straw for me came when I attended a funeral for a friend who had committed suicide, it was basically a lecture pointing out how my friend had strayed and dwelling upon his mistakes. Iirc less than 2 minutes was actually spent talking about him and his life, family, friends and children.
After that I decided never to attend another religious service. I still go to weddings and baptisms,funerals etc, but for the services I remain outside the church listening to music or reading.
These events are propaganda events for the church, the "celebrant" in them is usually marginalised, so fuck the churches :D.

Stublore:
Sounds pretty typical of xtian funerals.
I've had to attend several of these events, and the bulk of each service is made up of praising gawd, explaining how this religion is the only path to salvation, and usually mentioning how actions of the deceased led them away from the path. Less than 5 minutes is usually spent on talking about the actual deceased.

Your experience of Christian funerals is very different from the half-dozen or so I've been to.

Sure, I've had to sit through a load of generalised ritual (hymns, prayers, etc.) but I don't recall even once getting preachy sermons detracting from the celebration of the deceased. It's not worth getting sniffy about rote Christian ritual at the funerals of people who lived and died as Christians.

Agema:

Stublore:
Sounds pretty typical of xtian funerals.
I've had to attend several of these events, and the bulk of each service is made up of praising gawd, explaining how this religion is the only path to salvation, and usually mentioning how actions of the deceased led them away from the path. Less than 5 minutes is usually spent on talking about the actual deceased.

Your experience of Christian funerals is very different from the half-dozen or so I've been to.

Sure, I've had to sit through a load of generalised ritual (hymns, prayers, etc.) but I don't recall even once getting preachy sermons detracting from the celebration of the deceased. It's not worth getting sniffy about rote Christian ritual at the funerals of people who lived and died as Christians.

The ones I've attended in the main were for those who were nominally xtain, most of them not having been to church in years.
And my friend, was xtian in name only, cos he like most schoolkids in Ireland had been baptised, made his communion,confirmation. After that he never attended another day in church.
it's not getting sniffy btw, it's realising that I don't have to listen to their smug propaganda. So now I don't. I support my friends and family at these events but do not attend the religious parts. I go the parties afterward, win :D

Faith, spirits, the afterlife, etc are fairly neutral things. And I've never experienced anyone getting especially preachy. A funeral is a tradition, and most of it is going to be pre-memorised hymns and semi-memorised speeches about the departed.

A great speech about all the good things the departed did in life might not be appropriate, and it might not "fit in" to the schedual. It might invoke too much emotion, funerals, despite their morbid nature, usually aren't meant to be a situation in which everybody is wildly sobbing. It might only be something that people really close to the departed know about. Or everybody at the funeral might not agree that some of the things he did where good.

There might for example be controversy about whether the departed took in a pregnant woman lost in the world, or stole someone elses wife.

You don't want to invoke too many feelings at a funeral.

 

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