Friday, 29 November 2013

Want a neo-Pagan/confused funeral?

Best go for a non-Christian (not actually sure it deserves the label 'humanist') service then!

Fancy a confused committal where the dearly departed is committed to Mother Earth and their spirit is set free to oblivion in the knowledge that because the people present will treasure their memories their life has found merit and meaning and they can rest safe in the knowledge that they lived for a purpose.

How's about being commended to 'all that is' and set free to be part of the whole realm of creation, tasking their part in the overall canvas of life and having the place they rest sanctified and hallowed to their memory for eternity?

The more I listen to people doing these services - especially the geezer what reads out cards, messages and emails as if it's a wedding - the more I wonder what some of these people are doing (other than making money out of the fact the customer knows nnnn 'Wasn't religious' so they offer something that is hopeless in oh so many ways!).

I am always surprised by the people who claim to have no faith and not be religious and the ways in which they cling to a hope of heaven, eternity and all that stuff. When I pointed out to one that what they'd delivered was the hope of Christianity coupled with some folklore and neo-confused pagan (ooooh, nature is so clever) tosh - the response was. 'Oh, but it gives them comfort to think there's more!'

Which is of course true but what I had before me was a snake oil salesman - offering hopelessness masquerading as hope and a terminal experience billed as something that with some confused continuance.

What makes it sadder is that some I have spoken to have told me how when the words, 'They weren't religious' are used by the person contracting the funeral then the potential for something 'humanist/non-religious' to be sourced is great. later though it transpires that this wasn't quite what the family might have wanted - they just didn't want to appear as if the deceased was an active Christian - and ended up with something quite different from that which they might have hoped for.

How very sad - and rather frustrating too :-(


UKViewer said...

I actually think that the sharp practices of these people, who reach people in their grief and vulnerability should be banned.

When someone is said to be 'not religious' does that mean that they were not baptized, because the reality is that most older people were, even though they might never have been in a church in years, or had deliberately turned away from church for various reasons?

I think that funerals should be about hope, and a faith based funeral, whether Christian, Muslim, Jeswish or other faith, does offer some hope, because of their beliefs. Those described as Pagan, neo Pagan or Humanist actually do a disservice to those who've died and the bereaved, because their concentration on this life devalues the life they are supposedly celebrating, while consigning them to nothingness?

There should be a requirement for undertakers consulted by a family to make proper and full enquiries about each individual, particularly seeking to ascertain whether they in fact were baptized, married in Church etc, which would point more towards a Christian funeral than one of these modern, faithless, dull mockeries.

I've suffered several times, seeing people I knew well, consigned to this type of funeral, and they just felt, empty, hollow, with no real empathy or consideration of how family or friends felt, leaving us wondering what on earth we'd been too.

The other stupid thing that happened at the end of a so called humanist funeral, the celebrant than said, "Lets say the Lords Prayer together" - what????

At the funeral for my uncle in 2010, the celebrant, after talking about he being joined in that twinkling star in the sky by his pet dog, said "now a moment of silence for those who pray to pray" and shut up for 20 seconds??

My Uncle's partner (they weren't married, although they were together for 30 years) had already been pushed out by his children in organising the funeral, was broken hearted. She was an Anglican and he'd been Roman Catholic. She couldn't bring herself to attend the wake and we and she sloped off to a different venue for a quiet lunch to remember him.

Funerals without hope are just that, hopeless.

JonG said...

I am someone who has always distrusted "religion", and I claim large parts of the Bible in justification of that (I enjoyed hearing Dawkins on the radio a while ago, criticising (not unreasonably in this particular case) something to do with some church group, but using the sort of rhetoric that could have come straight from John the Baptist).
Most religion, in my view, is an attempt to somehow put God/ the gods/ the spirit world/ the cosmos/ whatever somehow in your debt, to get something you have made yourself entitled to.
Seen in that light, some of these 2non-religious" services are, in fact, very religious.