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downthecreek
12-18-2009, 06:59 AM
I attended one yesterday and got to wondering.....

The church was packed. I imagine about one in ten of those present might have been practicing Christians or even church goers, but everyone (including me) knew the hymns and the words of the Lord's Prayer. Funerals are amongst those occasions when the Church of England provides a comforting, dignified and unifying ritual to mark an occasion for which most of us have no adequate words. Despite being such a secular society, almost every funeral is a religious service (even when its only the duty chaplain at a crematorium) If the deceased had no specific religious affiliation, then the good old C of E does the job and everyone knows the drill.

Of course, secular funerals of all kinds are available, but they are quite unusual, except in the case of militant atheists.

I'm curious as to what happens in the US, where there is no established church to provide the communal ritual (one of several valuable social functions provided by the C of E in my opinion) Do agnostics, atheists and uninterested types also have religious funerals, or are purely secular funerals the norm? Will the churches do the business for non members?

Incidentally, the service I attended yesterday would have rung bells (literally) with Roman Catholics who were around before Vatican II. Bells, smells, holy water, birettas - the whole works. Couldn't help wondering if the Vicar of Burnham might be on his way into the arms of the Pope. Must of looked very theatrical to the much esteemed Roman Catholic friend sitting next to me.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 07:33 AM
Has anyone told you you're a jerk?

They should have (not should of).

Your sentiment is heartily reciprocated! :D

Vince Brennan
12-18-2009, 07:48 AM
Here in the US a secular funeral is not at all uncommon... All is laid out as with any funeral but there are no religious trappings and usually some member of the family will speak a euolgy just before the casket is closed and the attendees leave the funeral home (undertaklers) to go to the interment or the doors open for the cremation.

When I go, I'm gonna be a "crispy critter" and live on someone's shelf.

Donn: you having a bad day already???

Hwyl
12-18-2009, 07:56 AM
What Vince said. The "Open Casket" thing was a bit of a shock to me when I first came here.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-18-2009, 08:06 AM
Like Vince said. I would just stress that "generic" funerals almost always take place at the Funeral Home (Undertaker's place of business) where the visitation takes place, instead of in a church.

Whether church or funeral home, those present will exit with the casket and drive to the cemetery for the burial. After that, those present may be invited to a lunch, which may be hosted by an old ladies' organization back at the church social hall.

In the case of my frst wife, Rosemary, who was cremated, the sequence was from FH to funeral Mass in a Catholic Church across the street, then directly to lunch, because the hearse went a Crematorium without escourt.

I once had a friend in a club we both belonged to who was an Undrtaker in a nearby town which would be considered too distant to provide services to my community. However, I once asked him whether he could do "old fashioned funerals" like I remembered from my youth where rural people would have the visitation in the front parlor of their home. He said he would be happy to do that.

Moby Nick

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 08:10 AM
What Vince said. The "Open Casket" thing was a bit of a shock to me when I first came here.

I can well imagine. A lot of people have never seen a dead person (I hadn't myself until I sat by my father's bedside and watched him die) and its hard to relate the "waxwork" to the living person. I suppose embalming makes a difference, although I've never seen an embalmed person.

Sound like the US has got the secular funeral taped. Here, it seems to take a bit more effort to work out what to do. Organisations like the Humanist Society do offer formats and speakers, but, oddly, for a largely secular society, most people do seem to expect the religious bit. The Congregationalists and the Quakers are also very good at running a solemn, personal, non religious funeral, although with the latter it is only for "Friends" as far as I can see. Good way of doing it, though.

Flying Orca
12-18-2009, 08:12 AM
Sounds about right. Interestingly, with no "default" religion, each funeral is unique. I haven't attended many, mostly because I grew up in another country from that of my extended family, but the few I've attended have included Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Salvationist, Baptist, pagan, atheist, etc. The general lack of consistency makes for interesting times. Oh, and kind of gives me an excuse - as an atheist - to avoid taking part in the bits I don't take part in, i.e. the prayers and hymns.

Pugwash
12-18-2009, 08:13 AM
My mother, very deliberately, had a humanist funeral.

It may have been the subject, but I thought it went a lot better and was a lot more dignified than some of the religious funerals I have attended (my fathers botched Catholic funeral as an example).

However, being Scottish, there's a 72hr window that was a little bit "hazy". None of your tea & crumpets for us.

:)

paladin
12-18-2009, 08:19 AM
Hazy ain't the word....I escorted a best friend home during the early years in Vietnam.....I had never been to a "wake"....and was 20 years old......and it was an eye opener....to say the likker flowed was an understatement....anyone above the age of 16 was sloshed outta their gourds.....and being a non drinker...his dad very politely had a car and driver take me to my hotel when I was ready, and I was very well taken care of.

C. Ross
12-18-2009, 08:20 AM
I have been to services held at funeral homes and cemeteries that were non-religious. My church and others I know a little about will perform a religious funeral for non-members at the request of a member.

Who among us cares in particular what happens when we die? I care only that usable organs are donated and other trappings not be burdensome on my family. I think decisions about a funeral should be for the comfort of the survivors, not the whims of the deceased.

perldog007
12-18-2009, 08:28 AM
I'm curious as to what happens in the US, where there is no established church to provide the communal ritual (one of several valuable social functions provided by the C of E in my opinion) Do agnostics, atheists and uninterested types also have religious funerals, or are purely secular funerals the norm? Will the churches do the business for non members?



Typically most U.S. Churches I have been associated with will hold funeral services for any family who asks, whether or not they are members, or members in good standing. The most common ethos seems to revolve around being decent to folks who are grieving.

I would imagine it's the same in most countries.

Unless they seem to be from the U.K. and are talking smack about America, in that case most of our churches would have the resident youth club give them a good kicking and send them elsewhere. :D

Nicholas Scheuer
12-18-2009, 08:33 AM
Palidin's story brings to mind my favorite wake.

A gregarious uncle to my first wife had passed, leaving behind a widow and one son. The son's best friend worked for Miller Brewing and drove a pickup truck full of beer a couple of hundred miles to the funeral.

After the burial (the Full Catholic Church "Monty") a large group of relatives and friends gathered in the widow's large luxurious home to drink the cases of beer that was left over from the earlier wake, and tell more stories about "Uncle Karley". I remember there was a big puddle of melted ice under the truck, which hadn't moved for a week.

Moby Nick

Krunch
12-18-2009, 08:33 AM
When my Dad (not a churchgoer by any means, but I suspect he believed in God, even though he was loath to discuss religion) passed away, we had a non-denominational Protestant minister say a few words at the funeral home (he was cremated). Nothing exotic...just Ecclesiastes, including
A Time for Everything
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I'm not sure there was more from the Bible than that, other than the minister's own words and thoughts. He had never met my father, so it must have been difficult, but he did a very nice job, I thought.

ishmael
12-18-2009, 08:38 AM
My father's funeral was nice. Family and friends gathered graveside and said their piece. No minister, no real religious trappings, though I consider people telling their thoughts and feelings to be a form of prayer.

My mother was cremated, and her ashes spread over the lake where she'd spent 70 summers.

My brother's, who's buried next to my father, I missed because I was deathly ill at the time. I always visit him and dad for a chat when I'm in Michigan. His funeral, I'm told, was much like my fathers.

There must be some Quaker blood in the family tree somewhere. I was baptized in the Presbyterian church, but have rarely been a regular church goer. At one time I did regularly attended a Congregational church, and before that a Quaker meeting. I'd like to find a good one of either of those again. So much depends on who the preacher is in churches that have a preacher.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 08:39 AM
Who among us cares in particular what happens when we die? I care only that usable organs are donated and other trappings not be burdensome on my family. I think decisions about a funeral should be for the comfort of the survivors, not the whims of the deceased.

I entirely agree with that. We were in a bit of a dilemma with my father though, as he forbade any form of funeral - he always hated funerals. That was OK for us - his burial, in a beautiful woodland site, was attended by a small family group and his "service" consisted of us standing around the grave for about an hour, talking about him. I think each one of us learned something about him then that we hadn't known before. But it was a little sad for his many friends, who would have liked to have had the opportunity to mark his going. It also shocked some of the more conventional neighbours, but my mother was never one to pay much heed to what they said. The friends and neighbours whose opinions she valued did understand. (In any case, they knew pa was a pig-headed cove ;))

Popeye
12-18-2009, 08:40 AM
I think decisions about a funeral should be for the comfort of the survivors, not the whims of the deceased.

i agree with this

and the merits of post #2

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 08:45 AM
Unless they seem to be from the U.K. and are talking smack about America, in that case most of our churches would have the resident youth club give them a good kicking and send them elsewhere. :D

Carrying grudges from thread to thread. Sad. Motes and beams come to mind, but there we are.

Bill Huson
12-18-2009, 08:47 AM
No-Church funerals seem to be common in the USA. At least from my viewpoint - more'n a half dozen funerals in the last couple decades and never set foot inside a church, and less than half were held at funeral home.

"Celebration of Life" is the usual church dodging venue. Friends and relatives gather for an informal review of the recently deceased's life and times.

However, I did not escape exposure to religion. At the last few funerals, although not held in a church, my bible besotted brother-in-law had to ramble on about the afterlife - praze Jebus! This caused me to modify my last wishes - muzzle brother-in-law.

I would prefer a Viking funeral but figure the USCG would have a hissy-fit over a burning wood boat. So I'll go with krispy critter, ashes scattered off the Carolina beachs, and a Celebration of Life including live music, do-wop and pre-'65 R&R, an open bar, chilly kegs, a lottsa chow.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 08:49 AM
i agree with this

and the merits of post #2

Please accept post #3 with my compliments. :D

Popeye
12-18-2009, 08:49 AM
..militant atheists ..

now we are cooking with gas

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 08:57 AM
ipraze Jebus!

Now, you raise another question in my mind....

What is this "Jebus" pronunciation? Who, characteristically, uses this term? What does it signify? :confused:

Peerie Maa
12-18-2009, 09:00 AM
i agree with this

and the merits of post #2

Post#2 was without merit.

My fathers service demonstrates the open heart of Methodist Ministers.
Father was anti-religion, but had formed a friendship with one of our Ministers.
I had the responsibility of organising a service at the Chapel of Rest at the Crem, at which I offered the opportunity to conduct the service to my fathers friend. He appreciated being asked, and struck a very happy balance between honouring my fathers desire for a secular service, his own beliefs and the needs of the believers amongst the mourners

Tom Montgomery
12-18-2009, 09:13 AM
Careful Donn. I was banned for being rude. You may be next.

elf
12-18-2009, 09:21 AM
I think funeral homes are yuck, and thus far have managed to have only one occasion to attend a funeral at one. Something just so greasy and unctious about them - money in it for the undertaker, I can just smell it.

As for celebrations of life, it's true where I am that the Friends will only have a Clearness Committee for a Meeting for Worship to celebrate the life of a deceased if some family member is a member of the meeting - but the deceased need not be the member. In fact, even though I never committed to membership, I served the local meeting as treasurer for 10 years and was married under the care of the meeting and I'm quite certain the meeting would take up the matter for me after the manner of Friends if I indicated I wished that.

When my father passed on the local Portuguese RC church was the only one left in town that still had a priest capable of Latin in it. Since my father had become disaffected with the church when it dropped the Latin mass, I thought he might prefer one. Unfortunately the homily was really a sorry thing, since the priest who officiated barely managed to get enough information about my father to speak accurately, so there was hardly any comfort in the affair for me. But it was nice of them to agree to do anything at all, since that was not my father's church and I had no use for the entire process philosophically. And without a clearness committee supporting me, and with my mother deep into Alzheimers, I barely had time to think about things like receptions.

In as religiously diverse a society as the U. S. the communal cultural religion is more complicated than in a place like England. Certainly I've been to funerals in Episcopalian churches where there were so many people of other cultures that the "Lord's Prayer" was not part of their life experience and they had no idea how it went. But in every occasion it seems to have become common for there to be a period of silence out of which people can speak of their connections to the deceased and some outright religious funerals I've been to have been so full of sweet silly stories that everyone left laughing.

And I think that's the way it should be whatever the kind of ceremony.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 09:32 AM
In as religiously diverse a society as the U. S. the communal cultural religion is more complicated than in a place like England.

That's for sure. There's some irony in the way the established church provides a religious "glue" to which almost anyone can relate, even though the vast majority profess no religion at all, despite the "C of E" on any forms that have a box for it. I think the majority will still tick that box even when the "no religion" option is available.

All nice and fuzzy. :)

Popeye
12-18-2009, 09:33 AM
I was banned for being rude.

patronage is also rude

James McMullen
12-18-2009, 09:34 AM
Don't worry about it, Downthecreek, Donn and Popeye instinctively raise their hackles whenever someone dares to question their religious belief system even tangentially. They are incapable of polite or rational discourse, having no other defense. Of course it's not like it's something unusual for Donn to act all pissy over a trifle.

"Save me Jeebus!" is a quote from the Simpsons episode when Homer was sent off to be a missionary in the South Pacific, with the implication being that like so many others who are brought up into an unquestioning faith, he never really gave too much thought or paid much attention in church, not even enough to remember the name of that Jeebus guy correctly.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 09:35 AM
Careful Donn. I was banned for being rude. You may be next.

Not at my request anyway, although I suppose Scot might decide otherwise. I just don't take the likes of Donn and other name callers that seriously.

Welcome back. :)

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 09:38 AM
Don't worry about it, Downthecreek, Donn and Popeye instinctively raise their hackles whenever someone dares to question their religious belief system even tangentially.

Thanks, James - I don't. Quite how anyone could decide that anything I have written here questions their belief system I really don't know. Big chips on some shoulders here, I'm afraid.


"Save me Jeebus!" Thanks for that. My bafflement is dispelled. :)

LeeG
12-18-2009, 09:38 AM
I'm curious as to what happens in the US, where there is no established church to provide the communal ritual (one of several valuable social functions provided by the C of E in my opinion) Do agnostics, atheists and uninterested types also have religious funerals, or are purely secular funerals the norm? Will the churches do the business for non members?


When my mother died my sister and I created a memorial service in the garden with about 100people attending followed by food, drink and a mariachi band. She was an athiest and none of us have a religious background or desire to recreate/fake one.
It is a dificult thing to pull off without a tradition or traditional ceremony to rely on. We researched the topic, talked to a few folks in the biz and come up with what made sense to us. Hospice helped incredibly as a resource for researching the topic.

For me it was important that it made sense for children as mine were 3 and 5 at the time. Her gardening was a place of quiet work when she wasn't working so we oriented a ceremony around each adult child planting an annual with a small tissue packet of her ashes.
When I'd been to other family funerals where the church figured prominently I was impressed/proud of my peers ability to speak to those in the pews. I wasn't really able to talk and had no desire to do so.

Popeye
12-18-2009, 09:51 AM
I don't. Quite how anyone could decide that anything I have written here questions their belief system I really don't know.

i guess a good place to start would be by explaining exactly what 'their belief system' is ..

you seem to know

LeeG
12-18-2009, 09:53 AM
i guess a good place to start would be by explaining exactly what 'their belief system' is ..

you seem to know

Not his. It doesn't require explaining, he's simply acknowledging that it's not his. Do you really take his statements as an attack?

LeeG
12-18-2009, 09:56 AM
Has anyone told you you're a jerk?

They should have (not should of).

the doorways in your house must be full of nicks for those blocks on your shoulders.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 09:56 AM
Bit of a diversion - what I learned at my father's graveside.....

He was in the navy during the war. Captain of a small ship. After the armistice he was employed in the Baltic, protecting German ships from the Russians, who wanted to seize them for reparations.

Some of these ships were in a very poor state. On one occasion he was escorting a German convoy through a severe storm and one began to break up and sink. He took his own ship alongside and, at considerable risk, rescued the crew.

When they reached port, the German crew was so grateful for the rescue and the kindness of my father's crew, who had shared rations, supplied them with clothes etc. from their own kitbags, that they wanted to offer them something to mark their feelings. But they had nothing. So when they disembarked, they waited for my father to come ashore, lined up on either side of him, and sung "Its a Long Way to Tipperary". Probably the only English most of them knew.

I like that story. It seems he mentioned it to my sister at some time, but I had never heard it before. :)

Popeye
12-18-2009, 09:59 AM
I imagine about one in ten of those present might have been practicing Christians . .

Must of looked very theatrical to the .. Roman Catholic ..sitting next to me.


where to begin ..

Pugwash
12-18-2009, 10:06 AM
where to begin ..

By S-ingTFU ?

:rolleyes:

Tom Montgomery
12-18-2009, 10:06 AM
patronage is also rude

Perhaps, but if so it is a form of rudeness that is SFTB.

Wake up on the wrong side of bed this morning?

The Bigfella
12-18-2009, 10:11 AM
I was involved in the industry back in the late 80's for two years... we stitched together a lot of medium sized firms and created the industry major.

The industry at the time was archaic from a management and operations point of view. By the end of my 2 years there, we were doing about 18,000 funerals a year and about 14,000 cremations along with a few hundred burials (we operated funeral homes - some of which were just shopfronts, along with major crematoria and some smaller cemeteries). It took a fair bit of work to bring it into the 20th Century.

From the service perspective, we introduced non-religious service options, among other things and an all-female operation, which is now a major brand. Celebrant services are now quite common here... with whatever strength or abscence of religious elements is required. Back in the 80's, the difference was pretty much the dropping of the religious stuff and introducing nature concepts into the service. We did a fair bit on developing the concept of celebrating the life of the deceased... and developed a way for the funeral arrangers to elicit a lot of information about the person who had died.

I did the eulogies at both my parent's funerals... and that was pretty much the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I also did a Powerpoint slideshow onto the wall at Mum's - just photos of her through her life and with a lot of the people who were at the ceremony. The old man took the cake though... the power went out at the crematorium when we went in to do his service. We all reckoned he did it.

Open casket is very rare here. The last one I went to would be 10 years ago... a mate of my then 11 year old son's - very confronting at the time for the kids, but in hindsight, probably a good thing.

LeeG
12-18-2009, 10:13 AM
where to begin ..

his experience, not yours.

Peerie Maa
12-18-2009, 10:21 AM
Open casket is very rare here. The last one I went to would be 10 years ago... a mate of my then 11 year old son's - very confronting at the time for the kids, but in hindsight, probably a good thing.

I am not aware of any open casket services in England, although I an sure that any request would be met. It is more usual to have an open casket at the funeral home so that mourners can say a private farewell.
The usual form is for family members to carry the closed casket into the church or chapel for the service, followed by the mourners.

Popeye
12-18-2009, 10:26 AM
Perhaps, but if so it is a form of rudeness that is SFTB.there are various forms of rudeness ?
ok then

i guess there are also various forms of atheism ... as in .. 'militant atheism' , which caught my eye , just curious of course about the different sects and splinter groups the flat earthers' have , are there whole factions operating under a single guise who have not been so anointed ? i'll guess 1 in 10 atheists are truly practising atheists .. close enough ..

LeeG
12-18-2009, 10:39 AM
there are various forms of rudeness ?
ok then

i guess there are also various forms of atheism ... as in .. 'militant atheism' , ..

good example, I figured that was his experience as I have not been exposed to militant atheists. My mom was one of the few people I've known who have no problem articulating her belief that there is no God. It didn't require a martial aspect to express that belief.

Hwyl
12-18-2009, 10:46 AM
i'll guess 1 in 10 atheists are truly practising atheists .. close enough ..

It would be interesting to compare that ratio to the perceived number of "truly practising" anything. My number for Christians would be 1 in 10,000

pefjr
12-18-2009, 10:46 AM
Now you boys are jumping to incorrect conclusions again. Let me clarify that post#2. Donn was not rude. He was just asking a question, within the duties of his new position. He did not call DTC a jerk. And he was correcting sentence form, I think. I could not find the "should of" in DTC's post anywhere so I assume Donn, being a good grammar bobby, was referring to "must of" in DTC's last sentence.

Now that the accusation of rudeness is cleared up, maybe DTC can answer the question or ignore it if he wants. I am sure he has been called worse, at least by SamF, if no one else.:D

Popeye
12-18-2009, 10:47 AM
.. no problem articulating her belief that there is no God. It didn't require a martial aspect to express that belief.

then , we have no argument

unfortunately :D

LeeG
12-18-2009, 10:51 AM
then , we have no argument

unfortunately :D

oh come on, start one.

Popeye
12-18-2009, 10:51 AM
My number for Christians would be 1 in 10,000


more than likely , true

the church ain't no shrine for saints

ishmael
12-18-2009, 11:01 AM
That Congregational church I attended was quite lovely. It served as part of the glue that held that small town together. The two pastors, one lay but attending divinity school, the other a woman who was ordained, were both really fine human beings. Around eight hundred town residents, and if someone was in trouble they'd get some attention whether they went to church or not. Just a visit to check up on someone elderly who was sick, a basket of food, no bible thumping.

The church hosted traveling pastors from various faiths to come in and give a talk. We had pastors and students from all over the world ramble through.

Other institutions fulfill much the same role, but in a small town an active group of Christians can be a very good thing.

That said, the people who come to my door, a bit woolly eyed, give me a bit of the creeps at times. I'm always polite, listen to their opening spiel, take the pamphlets they hand out, and then say no thanks.

John of Phoenix
12-18-2009, 11:26 AM
Like Chuck, I was detailed to escort a friend home, in my case from Iran. Three flag draped caskets in the bay of a C-5A. Other than their escort officers, that was the only cargo. That cargo bay is big enough for a tennis match and to see just three caskets strapped in the middle of that cavern was eerie. We went from Tehran to the identification facilities at Wiesbaden, Germany then to Dover, Delaware for preparation (the mortician said, "This will be a closed casket funeral. No matter what anyone says, keep this casket closed.") then to Arlington for burial.

If youíve never attended a full honors military funeral youíve missed a real spectacle. Color guard, band, escort platoon, horse drawn caisson, riderless horse, firing party, pall bearers, and then the friends and family. You can even get a Chaplin.

Iíve told my daughter to cremate me and take me along on her next trip to the beach. From then on, Iíll be the sparkle in the waves.

This would be too much pomp for these bones.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/images/AS_funerals/images/image38_Army_jpg.jpg

I, Rowboat
12-18-2009, 11:30 AM
I'm baffled -- what is a "practising atheist." What do we practice? Not believing in any gods? How do you suppose I practice that? I also don't believe in UFOs, Santa Clause, witches, or that Elvis Presley is still alive. Does it also require practice or rituals of some sort to not believe in those things?

Also -- burials at sea are still allowed, at least off the coast of Washington state. I believe the body needs to be discharged at least six miles from land and in at least 600 feet of water, plus weights of some sort are required (like a lead diving belt).

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 11:33 AM
Now that the accusation of rudeness is cleared up, maybe DTC can answer the question or ignore it if he wants. I am sure he has been called worse, at least by SamF, if no one else.:D

Oh, no. Sam F would never be so crude. Like 007, he is more inclined towards the insinuated insult. ;):D

perldog007
12-18-2009, 11:37 AM
Carrying grudges from thread to thread. Sad. Motes and beams come to mind, but there we are.

No Grudge here, a bit of sarcasm directed at one who should be able to take it.

Point being it's not that much different over here, except for the part after the wake where we all break out our .44 magnums and start shooting up each other's cars in the parking lot as an expression of grief. Except the liberals who break out baseball bats. :)

Other than that, pretty similar.

The Episcopal church I attended growing up would hold a service for anybody who asked the rector, whether or not they contributed to the coffers, were members, etc.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 11:38 AM
riderless horse


With boots upturned in the stirrups?

"Saddled and bridled and booted rade he,
A plume in his helmet, a sword at his knee.
But toom* came his saddle a' bloody tae see;
Hame came his gude horse, but never came he".

* Toom = empty.

Song my grandmother taught me. :)

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 11:40 AM
No Grudge here, a bit of sarcasm directed at one who should be able to take it.


Believe me, I don't take you, or anyone else here, so seriously. Just seems pretty childish to me.

Rich Jones
12-18-2009, 11:42 AM
Now, you raise another question in my mind....

What is this "Jebus" pronunciation? Who, characteristically, uses this term? What does it signify? :confused:


I believe it's a term used by the militant atheists.

Kaa
12-18-2009, 11:44 AM
I believe it's a term used by the militant atheists.

Like Homer Simpson... :D

Kaa

perldog007
12-18-2009, 11:44 AM
Believe me, I don't take you, or anyone else here, so seriously. Just seems childish to me.

Then I have managed to engage in some petty self indulgent entertainment without upsetting your apparent stereotypical notions.

Sadly referential thinking seems to have insulated somewhat. But all in all success, if only so petty.

I'm off to celebrate!

Perhaps a pint......

John of Phoenix
12-18-2009, 11:51 AM
Boots reversed. "Never to ride again."

Cavalry saber there too. Loads of tradition at these things.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/blackjack1.jpg

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 11:54 AM
How do you suppose I practice that?

Good question. It would be fun to explore the possibilities of how to practice atheism. Sam has insisted (correctly) in another thread, that atheism prohibits nothing - but surely if it is to be a proper religion it should prohibit belief in Gods?

And how does one practice agnosticism? By alternating belief and non belief day by day or month by month?

I'm trying to imagine the atheist scriptures......

Bearing in mind that there are some here poised to extract the last drops of sour juice from any post relating in any way to anything connected with any aspect of religion, I would just like to mention that I am joking. :)

Evan Showell
12-18-2009, 11:54 AM
Re: post 25. Funny thing, I was confirmed as an Episcopalian. I've been to many Episcopal Churches, but never to an Episcopalian Church.

Peerie Maa
12-18-2009, 11:55 AM
I'm baffled -- what is a "practising atheist." What do we practice? Not believing in any gods? How do you suppose I practice that? I also don't believe in UFOs, Santa Clause, witches, or that Elvis Presley is still alive. Does it also require practice or rituals of some sort to not believe in those things?
No - "practising atheists" just have not got it right yet.


Also -- burials at sea are still allowed, at least off the coast of Washington state. I believe the body needs to be discharged at least six miles from land and in at least 600 feet of water, plus weights of some sort are required (like a lead diving belt).

Reminds me of this News snippet ;

Ashes Scattered In UK's Ganges
9:21pm UK, Friday July 20, 2007
A river on Tyneside could become Britain's answer to the Ganges as the place for people to scatter the ashes of their loved ones.
Gateshead Council has designated part of the River Derwent for Sikhs and Hindus to carry out the ceremony, believing that by immersing ashes into flowing water they will be sent to heaven.
A leading Sikh, Bahal Singh Dindsa, has praised thecouncil for being "forward-thinking".
But many authorities prohibit the scattering of human remains in UK rivers, for fear of contamination.
Believers have been forced to scatter the ashes secretly or take them out to sea - where scattering is allowed.
Some make the long pilgrimage to the Indian subcontinent to take part in ceremonies at the shores of the Ganges, in the hope of sending their relatives to salvation.
Sam Reed of Gateshead Council said people had been allowed to scatter the ashes in the Derwent - which flows to the River Tyne - for at least five years.
"It does happen and we do allow it," she said. "Our policy emerged as we launched council plans for the next 30 years.
"It goes without saying that it's a good thing for the diverse community."

pefjr
12-18-2009, 12:00 PM
I'm baffled -- what is a "practising atheist." What do we practice? Not believing in any gods? How do you suppose I practice that? I also don't believe in UFOs, Santa Clause, witches, or that Elvis Presley is still alive. Does it also require practice or rituals of some sort to not believe in those things?

Also -- burials at sea are still allowed, at least off the coast of Washington state. I believe the body needs to be discharged at least six miles from land and in at least 600 feet of water, plus weights of some sort are required (like a lead diving belt).

While family and friends are practicing their beliefs, I am practicing my violin or my tennis with my heathen tennis partners. Then we all meet back together and celebrate with a cook out. If I mention anything about god or religion while in the company of the believers, I take the risk of being slapped silly. I am not even allowed to question reindeer in flight this time of year.:D

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 12:04 PM
Then I have managed to engage in some petty self indulgent entertainment without upsetting your apparent stereotypical notions.

Sadly referential thinking seems to have insulated somewhat. But all in all success, if only so petty.

I'm off to celebrate!

Perhaps a pint......

Well, heaven knows what constructions you have created or hidden meanings (from me, at least) you think you have extracted from a couple of straightforward questions about the way things work in the US, but I'm glad they are giving you so much innocent pleasure.

Cheers, mate! :D

Peerie Maa
12-18-2009, 12:05 PM
While family and friends are practicing their beliefs, I am practicing my violin or my tennis with my heathen tennis partners. Then we all meet back together and celebrate with a cook out. If I mention anything about god or religion while in the company of the believers, I take the risk of being slapped silly. I am not even allowed to question reindeer in flight this time of year.:D

Reindeer on roofs and men in fur trimmed coats coming down chimneys has a firm foundation in history. It was the only way visitors could get in when the snow was drifted over the roofs in Lap Land.:D

I, Rowboat
12-18-2009, 12:09 PM
A bit off topic here, but your tagline demands it:

It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

This thread (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105989&page=4) shows how it can be done, apparently with relative ease (see post #161). :D

Rich Jones
12-18-2009, 12:10 PM
Here in the US, church funerals are very common. Your Church of England is my Episcopal Church (minus all the current gay controversy). But all the other churches from Roman Catholic to the various Protestant churches provide wonderful, spiritual rituals that provide comfort for the families. Of course, if the deceased and family are long time church members and have an abiding love of God, it makes the service all the better and satisfying. That's the main point. I've been to funerals that are totally flat. The deceased had no relationship with the church or God, the rector/pastor didn't know the person or family and therefore the service lacked depth. My rector refers to these funerals as "four-wheelers"; the only two times the person was in church was to be rolled into church for their baptism and funeral. Secular funerals are common, also. If no chaplain is requested, the funeral director will say a few words. My father-in-law had this type of funeral. He was shunned by the Roman Catholic Church for marrying (in the 1930's) a Protestant woman. I don't know what his beliefs were(he died before I could really get to know him), but he never set foot in a church again. His funeral was very depressing, not having the presence of the Church.

Our atheists friends on this forum will scoff at all I say, but it works very well for us believers. And I do believe that He lets atheists of good character into Heaven. Only He judges. I hope they'll be happily surprised when they arrive!

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 12:13 PM
If I mention anything about god or religion while in the company of the believers, I take the risk of being slapped silly.

I don't find anything like the sort of hypersensitivity amongst my many Christian friends when matters religious are mentioned as I do here.

I don't know, for example, if my mention of "bells and smells" was one of the things that got Popeye going, but that is a term that any of these friends - C of E, Catholic, Proddy etc. etc. can and do use quite happily to denote a certain type of ritual. No-one is offended.

As I have frequently remarked here, some of the most admirable people I know are Christians. One thing they all have in common is a sense of humour. :)

bob winter
12-18-2009, 12:15 PM
The strangest funerals I ever saw were my Aunt and Uncle. As far I know, there wasn't one. I had to make my cousin have the funeral home drag my Aunt's body out of the cooler so I could see her. Strange bird, my Cousin. As far as I know their ashes were never disposed of, either. I did see what looked like shovel marks on top of my Grandmother's grave so maybe he popped them in there one night. Never asked him.

I, Rowboat
12-18-2009, 12:15 PM
... And I do believe that He lets atheists of good character into Heaven. Only He judges. I hope they'll be happily surprised when they arrive!

Just a moment while I throw-up in my mouth.

Peerie Maa
12-18-2009, 12:18 PM
A bit off topic here, but your tagline demands it:


This thread (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105989&page=4) shows how it can be done, apparently with relative ease (see post #161). :D

Two points

It is not finished yet.
My tag line says "quite difficult" it does not say impossible.
:D

Kaa
12-18-2009, 12:18 PM
Good question. It would be fun to explore the possibilities of how to practice atheism.

Oh, tons of different ways.

Zazen or considering koans would be one.

Following "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" would be another one.


I'm trying to imagine the atheist scriptures......

"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him" :D

Kaa

elf
12-18-2009, 12:21 PM
Man still creates myths to deal with the things he can't deal with.

Phillip Allen
12-18-2009, 12:25 PM
I have turned my future body over to my survivors...do as you please...have me stuffed...sell me to science...etc...whatever...I won't care

if there were a ritual that would appeal...I'd be buried at sea and a big eye painted to the top of my "hammock" so I can wink at the undertaker as I slide over the rails...feed me to the hag fish

LeeG
12-18-2009, 12:26 PM
Our atheists friends on this forum will scoff at all I say, but it works very well for us believers. And I do believe that He lets atheists of good character into Heaven. Only He judges. I hope they'll be happily surprised when they arrive!

Except for your attempt to speak for others you make plenty of sense when speaking for yourself.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 12:26 PM
Our atheists friends on this forum will scoff at all I say, but it works very well for us believers. And I do believe that He lets atheists of good character into Heaven. Only He judges. I hope they'll be happily surprised when they arrive!

I'm more of an agnostic than an atheist, because I don't believe in a supernatural God, but cannot ultimately know the answer. But I certainly won't scoff. I believe that at the very least the language, rituals and imagery of Christianity (and, perhaps, other religions as well) can help people to express the solemnity of an event for which we have no other adequate words. I also believe that a blessing - both for the deceased and for the family - is a profound acknowledgment of the "sacredness" of the person and the experience, whatever that means to the people concerned.

This is no accident. Again, as I have often stated, I think Christianity is, at the very least, a profound and protean expression of the human spirit and the shared experience of great ideas and events. What ever else it may be, the Mass is a stupendous work of art. I mean this in the best sense - a symbolic representation of profound, common experience, in which all present can share.

So, although I don't share your belief in the supernatural God, I have no quarrel with anything you have posted.

pefjr
12-18-2009, 12:28 PM
Our atheists friends on this forum will scoff at all I say, but it works very well for us believers. And I do believe that He lets atheists of good character into Heaven. Only He judges. I hope they'll be happily surprised when they arrive!What about this, "You can't take it with you". Do you believe that you can take your beliefs with you?

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 12:30 PM
Following "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" would be another one.

Kaa

Sound OK to me, although I've got a feeling the acts of beauty might not meet with universal approval. Don't know much about those other things. I'll have to look them up. :)

Krunch
12-18-2009, 12:36 PM
i'll guess 1 in 10 atheists are truly practising atheists

WTF is a "practicing atheist"?

Is there some kind of "church" you need to attend or membership dues you need to keep up to date? http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/eek7.gif And how exactly does one "practice" atheism?

Pugwash
12-18-2009, 12:42 PM
I believe that at the very least the language, rituals and imagery of Christianity (and, perhaps, other religions as well) can help people to express the solemnity of an event for which we have no other adequate words. I also believe that a blessing - both for the deceased and for the family - is a profound acknowledgment of the "sacredness" of the person and the experience, whatever that means to the people concerned.


I don't believe any religion is particularly necessary for those things to be expressed quite effectively.

http://www.humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/humanist-funerals-memorials

ishmael
12-18-2009, 12:50 PM
As a kid of seven I remember asking my mother why JFK's death march in Washington had the back-facing boots. "A soldier is going to his final rest today, dear." I'd forgotten the saber carried well out of reach behind the pommel.

These must come from English tradition, eh?

Rich Jones
12-18-2009, 12:56 PM
I'm more of an agnostic than an atheist, because I don't believe in a supernatural God, but cannot ultimately know the answer. But I certainly won't scoff. I believe that at the very least the language, rituals and imagery of Christianity (and, perhaps, other religions as well) can help people to express the solemnity of an event for which we have no other adequate words. I also believe that a blessing - both for the deceased and for the family - is a profound acknowledgment of the "sacredness" of the person and the experience, whatever that means to the people concerned.

This is no accident. Again, as I have often stated, I think Christianity is, at the very least, a profound and protean expression of the human spirit and the shared experience of great ideas and events. What ever else it may be, the Mass is a stupendous work of art. I mean this in the best sense - a symbolic representation of profound, common experience, in which all present can share.

So, although I don't share your belief in the supernatural God, I have no quarrel with anything you have posted.

Well said. Thank you for a reasonable reply.

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 12:57 PM
I don't believe any religion is particularly necessary for those things to be expressed quite effectively.

http://www.humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/humanist-funerals-memorials

I don't disagree, but I do think there is something about the shared "language" of religion that adds a dimension for many people. As I mentioned in my first post here, I was struck by the fact that the ritual and language was familiar to everyone there, religious or not. People knew the hymns and the prayers and could join in if they wished (many did) and the whole thing served to unite all those present in a way that a "one off" ceremony might not do.

This is undoubtedly a function of the shared Christian heritage which is certainly diminishing and the whole thing would have been as incomprehensible, for example, to a Hindu as a visit to the Temple would be to me. But in a nice old church in a little town like Burnham-on-Crouch it does still make sense. Certainly, I, a non Christian, found it moving and fitting, as did my companion, colleague and excellent friend, a devout "cradle Catholic".

Mind you, I like opera too ;) (Not all operas, mind you. I suppose there are about 20 that are really worth hearing)

Popeye
12-18-2009, 12:59 PM
Except for your attempt to speak for others you make plenty of sense when speaking for yourself.

exactly the words i was searching for early on

~ tanks

Rich Jones
12-18-2009, 01:03 PM
What about this, "You can't take it with you". Do you believe that you can take your beliefs with you?

Well, let's say there is a God and Heaven. Once I die, I believe my soul become part of God, part of the belief.

I don't mean to offend non-believers, but I'm passionate about two things in life: Wooden boats and Religion. I tend to get carried away with both...

Popeye
12-18-2009, 01:10 PM
I'm baffled -- what is a "practising atheist." What do we practice? .


well , for example , you are very good at supplying disparaging comments and making it known how ultra rational your particular belief system is when compared to others

unless you grew up in a cave and was raised by wolves , chances are you had some previous contact with a (western) society and was exposed to certain 'norms' , this typically results in a cultural bias , axiomatic thinking .. attempts to dissuade yourself certainly takes a lot of practice:rolleyes:

the good news is , you can always prove me wrong, by simply remaining silent

Pugwash
12-18-2009, 01:12 PM
I don't disagree, but I do think there is something about the shared "language" of religion that adds a dimension for many people. As I mentioned in my first post here, I was struck by the fact that the ritual and language was familiar to everyone there, religious or not. People knew the hymns and the prayers and could join in if they wished (many did) and the whole thing served to unite all those present in a way that a "one off" ceremony might not do.

My own experience is the opposite. The religious funerals I have attended seem, to me, rather like a generic letter from an insurance company with your name inserted in a different font.

Although the church in Burnham-on-Crouch may have helped, most chapels in crematoriums (is that the correct plural?) are miserable places. More like waiting rooms at the bus terminal.

Popeye
12-18-2009, 01:15 PM
I don't mean to offend non-believers ..

when the muslims , jews , buddhists and atheists in here start apologizing for their views , so will i apologize for mine

pefjr
12-18-2009, 01:16 PM
[quote=Richard Jones;2426837]



Richard, can you see an atheist in the line at the pearly gates waiting to get into heaven? His cremated ashes remaining in Idaho. How could this be? Standing at the gates it would be hard to deny god. And given the alternative, then of course the atheist would admit being wrong. Maybe.

My family is at this time conspiring to take me there, so I have my own self interest at stake here. If you can take your beliefs with you, then I would like to take my tennis racket with me, and also my flyrod, and fiddle, you know, just in case.

Popeye
12-18-2009, 01:17 PM
Does it also require practice or rituals of some sort to not believe ..?yes , it does

andrewe
12-18-2009, 01:24 PM
Most recent one was here, and a secular crematorium 'service' serveral family members spoke and it felt genuine. We all dropped a rose on the casket which seemed a bit pointless, but not a bad send off.
I missed my father's, as I was out of touch untill the day before and couldn't find a flight to get there. My mother's was the full church do, and the priest, who didn't know her, got all the (supplied) family references wrong. We (nearly) laughed.
Generally I find that the sevices in UK are somewhat self promoting for the religion concerned, rather than the person being celebrated. As an RC born and schooled, I rejected the ideas of all organised religions at 16 yrs old. One of the best quotes was "Picking your pockets in this life, with the promise of richness in the after life". So I am not comfortable with religious funerals, but still go out of respect for the relatives.
As for the US, we have a few plots reserved in Oak Hill, Georgetown, where my wife's family are interned. Personally, my 'corner of some foreign field' will probably be here. As toast. With a decent fund left for a drink or two.
A

Pugwash
12-18-2009, 01:30 PM
If you can take your beliefs with you, then I would like to take my tennis racket with me, and also my flyrod, and fiddle, you know, just in case.

No fiddles, you're going to have to learn a different instrument (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0mot5vBCBc&feature=related).

:)

Popeye
12-18-2009, 01:35 PM
all you can take with you
is that which you've
given away

~

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
12-18-2009, 01:43 PM
.... I would like to take my tennis racket with me, and also my flyrod, and .....

I'm left hoping that Charon is a decent ghillie, and that Leviathan lives in the Styx.

Rich Jones
12-18-2009, 01:58 PM
[quote=Richard Jones;2426837]



Richard, can you see an atheist in the line at the pearly gates waiting to get into heaven? His cremated ashes remaining in Idaho. How could this be? Standing at the gates it would be hard to deny god. And given the alternative, then of course the atheist would admit being wrong. Maybe.

My family is at this time conspiring to take me there, so I have my own self interest at stake here. If you can take your beliefs with you, then I would like to take my tennis racket with me, and also my flyrod, and fiddle, you know, just in case.

My cremated ashes will be scattered over a mountian lake ( or thrown into a dumpster; all depends on my family). It will make no difference ; one doesn't need a body to get in. As for the tennis racket, etc.; if God doesn't allow wooden canoes, I'm not going!

Popeye
12-18-2009, 02:03 PM
. ..some of the most admirable people I know are Christians.

good , and i have no issues with atheists and people neither , so it looks like we can all get along just fine

Popeye
12-18-2009, 02:25 PM
the last funeral i attended , i hardly knew the fellow, i spoke to him in passing .. what , twice ?.. he still had a moment to give , just to chat , i asked about some of his photography he had framed and proudly displayed , nice shots of places i would like to visit , i still don't know why exactly , but for some reason i felt compelled to go see him off

and when i got to the church with two others i had no trouble in convincing to attend , we were the last ones to shuffle in out of the cold , we slid in along a bench at the back and removed our hats

the old church , was packed to the rafters

andrewe
12-18-2009, 02:28 PM
Perhap one should mention to the readers not in the UK, that the CofE has pastors that practise cerermonies with all the bells and smells of the RC, or others that are closer to the methodists. Known as 'High Church' or 'Low Church'.
A

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 04:11 PM
Perhap one should mention to the readers not in the UK, that the CofE has pastors that practise cerermonies with all the bells and smells of the RC, or others that are closer to the methodists. Known as 'High Church' or 'Low Church'.
A

Right. Except that I don't think the RC church does bells and smells any more. I wonder if this is part of the tradition that priests leaving for the RC church will be able to take with them?

downthecreek
12-18-2009, 04:15 PM
No fiddles, you're going to have to learn a different instrument (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0mot5vBCBc&feature=related).

:)

Can't help thinking of a cartoon I saw recently.

Up above, the reception angel - "welcome to heaven - here is your harp".

Down below, the reception demon - "welcome to hell - here is your accordion"

;)

BarnacleGrim
12-18-2009, 05:50 PM
I really don't like funerals services. It's all the death worshipping that gets to me.

I went to my second cousin's funeral. I only met her a few times, but I'm very close to her family, they mean a lot to me, and I know my father meant a lot to them. We sat at their farm house long into the night after the funeral service, just talking about just about everything, from family anecdotes to the great questions of life, and of course, how we remembered the deceased.

To bring people together to enjoy each others company would be the greatest honour and accomplishment at the end of my own life, and that is the only desire I have for afterlife, whatever that may entail. Personally I think afterlife is non-existence, and I'm willing to settle for that. Headstones and coffins and pretty speeches wouldn't do me any good anyway.

Pugwash
12-18-2009, 06:27 PM
If I should go before the rest of you,
break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
nor, when I am gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
but be the usual selves that I have known.

Weep, if you must; parting is hell,
but life goes on, so sing as well.

Joyce Grenfell

George Jung
12-19-2009, 12:06 AM
Atheists don't really 'practice', do they?

I've always thought of them as 'Atheists in Repose'.

Seems fitting.

Saltiguy
12-19-2009, 07:19 PM
Beginning almost 40 years ago, in many parts of the US, especially in the Northeast, Organized crime moved into the Trash Removal (carting) business. They bought out or muscled out every competitor, and today control the business absolutely - with no competition.
They were so successful at this that they looked around to find another industry they could control in a similar fashion. Funeral homes were a natural. The mob always has plenty of dough, so buying up Mom and Pop operations, or even chains has been no problem. The same money being generated from one illegal monopoly (carting) is now being ploughed back into creating another illegal monopoly (Funeral services) As they gain geographical control of targeted areas, the fees will soar. It's already happened in some areas

The Bigfella
12-19-2009, 07:23 PM
Beginning almost 40 years ago, in many parts of the US, especially in the Northeast, Organized crime moved into the Trash Removal (carting) business. They bought out or muscled out every competitor, and today control the business absolutely - with no competition.
They were so successful at this that they looked around to find another industry they could control in a similar fashion. Funeral homes were a natural. The mob always has plenty of dough, so buying up Mom and Pop operations, or even chains has been no problem. The same money being generated from one illegal monopoly (carting) is now being ploughed back into creating another illegal monopoly (Funeral services) As they gain geographical control of targeted areas, the fees will soar. It's already happened in some areas

I think you will find that the consolidation has been done by public companies, not the mob.

pefjr
12-19-2009, 07:29 PM
The mob always has plenty of dough, so buying up Mom and Pop operations, or even chains has been no problem. The same money being generated from one illegal monopoly (carting) is now being ploughed back into creating another illegal monopoly (Funeral services) As they gain geographical control of targeted areas, the fees will soar. It's already happened in some areasIt's a deadly business.:D

skuthorp
12-19-2009, 07:41 PM
I haven't been to a church funeral in 20 years. Neither of my parents had one, and a friends son, though it was a burial, did not have one either. I've been to two open casket burials, one that boy I just mentioned. It's not for me to say what I want, I don't care anyhow and a funeral is for those still here. A jazz musician I knew left funds for a wake in a pub, and the beer was served on his casket as per his instructions.
I find the term 'practicing athiest' curious, it implies a form of dogma in a situation where there is no belief to support it. I suppose you could say that unbelief is a a belief in itself. To me god, religion etc is an irrelevance, even an absurdity, but that is a purely personal position and in no way a 'practice'.

shamus
12-19-2009, 08:36 PM
I've been musing on the topic of funerals for quite a while.
I've been to a number of awkward ones, where the deceased was nominally a member of a church, but to all appearances, not at all devout. Performed by the church, but in a funeral home, with a dose of the deceased's favourite country music thrown in. The clergyman seemed a bit uncomfortable, and so was I.
I've been to a number of completely secular funerals, which seemed appropriate for the people involved, but became aware that they maybe distressing for some others, when a chap I hardly know rushed up to me after my sister in law's funeral, and asked "Wasn't she a Christian?". While I was forming my thoughts on that, my brother answered "Not so far as I am aware." The poor fellow, who was attending out of courtesy with a relative seemed deeply shaken.