Differences in memorial services.
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16-01-2016, 10:02 PM
Differences in memorial services.
I'm lucky in that I have had to go to very few funerals in my life but I've been to 2 in the last month and now that I'm an atheist I noticed some interesting differences.
The first a few weeks back was for an 89 year old Christian man who died of natural causes with the service being held at an Episcopal church. It was basically a full mass and throughout the eulogy/sermon the pastor made several references to this man's soul being reunited in heaven with God for eternity. I didn't really expect anything less so I wasn't shocked at all.
The second was yesterday and it was for a 35 year old high school friend of mine who committed suicide by jumping off a building and the service was at a funeral home. I didn't keep up with him much over the years so I don't know how religious, if at all he was. His service was very different and the minister's eulogy/sermon focused on thanking God for my friend's life, the time we spent with him and to lean on God in these tough times. Not one mention of heaven at all, nothing, nada.
I know that many Christians see suicide as interfering with God's plan, thus you're doomed to hell. If I'm wrong on that let me know.
I was amazed at the subtle yet vast difference between the two services and that at my friend's yesterday no one mentioned anything about an afterlife but only how to give God your grief in the here and now. I didn't bring it up at the reception and neither did anyone else which in my opinion just goes to show that these services are really to comfort the living.
Any thoughts are appreciated.
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16-01-2016, 10:11 PM
RE: Differences in memorial services.
Some religions believe that people who commit suicide cannot enter heaven. So perhaps that is why there was no mention of an afterlife in that case.

I am sorry for your losses.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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17-01-2016, 08:57 AM
RE: Differences in memorial services.
Of course, the services are just to comfort the living.

I had a Baptist friend who committed suicide and his service did place him in heaven.

Probably different flavors of religion will handle this differently.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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17-01-2016, 09:04 AM
RE: Differences in memorial services.
(16-01-2016 10:02 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  I'm lucky in that I have had to go to very few funerals in my life but I've been to 2 in the last month and now that I'm an atheist I noticed some interesting differences.
The first a few weeks back was for an 89 year old Christian man who died of natural causes with the service being held at an Episcopal church. It was basically a full mass and throughout the eulogy/sermon the pastor made several references to this man's soul being reunited in heaven with God for eternity. I didn't really expect anything less so I wasn't shocked at all.
The second was yesterday and it was for a 35 year old high school friend of mine who committed suicide by jumping off a building and the service was at a funeral home. I didn't keep up with him much over the years so I don't know how religious, if at all he was. His service was very different and the minister's eulogy/sermon focused on thanking God for my friend's life, the time we spent with him and to lean on God in these tough times. Not one mention of heaven at all, nothing, nada.
I know that many Christians see suicide as interfering with God's plan, thus you're doomed to hell. If I'm wrong on that let me know.
I was amazed at the subtle yet vast difference between the two services and that at my friend's yesterday no one mentioned anything about an afterlife but only how to give God your grief in the here and now. I didn't bring it up at the reception and neither did anyone else which in my opinion just goes to show that these services are really to comfort the living.
Any thoughts are appreciated.

My brother a life long alcoholic died earlier this year. He had contracted dementia 4 years earlier and I would be surprised if anyone who knew him would think he had earned a ticket to heaven. But everyone was invited to say a word if they chose and one second cousin who knew brother had been in a semi coma for months stated that we don't know that he didn't confess his sins right before dying so we should all pray real hard that he gets into heaven. I thought it was just Mormons who prayed people into heaven after they died. One never knows what to expect at a funeral is the truth.
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17-01-2016, 09:44 AM
RE: Differences in memorial services.
I've been to very few funerals; it's true they function mostly as comfort for the living, but also IMO as ceremony that gives a last gesture of respect to the deceased as a fellow human. Kind of a validation of the species.

When my nephew died at 5 months, he had a Catholic funeral. The priest mentioned more than once how great it was that the infant had been baptized, so that it was certain he was bound for heaven. The implication seemed to be that if the kid had not been baptized, the parents couldn't be sure whether he'd be in purgatory or hell instead. It seemed such a vile idea, and even though I knew it was nonsensical at every level, I got really angry hearing that. But I was also very sad and emotional, so it was easy to rub me the wrong way.
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17-01-2016, 11:32 AM
RE: Differences in memorial services.
(16-01-2016 10:02 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  I'm lucky in that I have had to go to very few funerals in my life but I've been to 2 in the last month and now that I'm an atheist I noticed some interesting differences.
The first a few weeks back was for an 89 year old Christian man who died of natural causes with the service being held at an Episcopal church. It was basically a full mass and throughout the eulogy/sermon the pastor made several references to this man's soul being reunited in heaven with God for eternity. I didn't really expect anything less so I wasn't shocked at all.
The second was yesterday and it was for a 35 year old high school friend of mine who committed suicide by jumping off a building and the service was at a funeral home. I didn't keep up with him much over the years so I don't know how religious, if at all he was. His service was very different and the minister's eulogy/sermon focused on thanking God for my friend's life, the time we spent with him and to lean on God in these tough times. Not one mention of heaven at all, nothing, nada.
I know that many Christians see suicide as interfering with God's plan, thus you're doomed to hell. If I'm wrong on that let me know.
I was amazed at the subtle yet vast difference between the two services and that at my friend's yesterday no one mentioned anything about an afterlife but only how to give God your grief in the here and now. I didn't bring it up at the reception and neither did anyone else which in my opinion just goes to show that these services are really to comfort the living.
Any thoughts are appreciated.

I have just put a description of my Mums totally secular funeral on my thread in this section. I think we opened a few eyes as to what can be done without involving god, prayers and magic spells. I, and several others thought it was much better for it. The emphasis being on Mum and her life instead of focusing on what some deluded followers of a magical sky monster think will happen to her now. Too many people, even secular ones, think the church must be involved in a funeral. I have been to several non-believers funerals which have prayers etc. and thought this isn't what they want. Still, I suppose it won't bother them.
In my humble opinion Church services do comfort the living sometimes. It's not very comforting to think a loved one is in eternal torment because of some petty choice they made. However they are often just a recruitment, marketing and money making exercise for the church. Much better to celebrate the life and achievements of a loved one without the fairy tales.

Steve

What do you mean Life is short. It's the longest thing you're going to do.
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