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Need Advice Re: Irish Catholic Funerals!!

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 8:46 pm
by Deleted
My mom called me for advice today. Her husband's brother-in-law died overnight and while she's very sad about it, she's said that she doesn't want to attend the church-portion of the funeral.

She has always maintained her non-religious views and thought the family had accepted them. But her refusal to attend the Irish Catholic Mass at the church has caused a bit of an uproar.

I don't blame her for not wanting to go, but her husband and others feel that she's being disrespectful and mean, and trying to "guilt" her into it, because they don't really understand her position.

I've given her my advice; does anyone else have any?

Thanks much.

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 9:09 pm
by Deleted
I dunno, I think she could go for courtesy's sake. I'm basically in her situation -- atheist from a Catholic family -- but I don't really have a problem going to Mass when I have to, such as for funerals, weddings, or if grandma's in town. (Well, I have problems in that it's usually boring as all hell, but... Image)

Of course, I can't speak for your mother, but the basic issue seems to be principles vs. family/social status (for lack of a better term). I value both, so I try to compromise. For example, I'll go to Mass, but I won't say the prayers. I tend to use the time to daydream or look at other people's outfits or simply reflect.

When my grandfather died and we had the funeral, I used the Mass time to remember grandpa and reflect on the good times we shared. It was helpful in that sense. As they say, funerals are for the living and not the dead.

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 10:02 pm
by Deleted
As I've noted I sometimes attend Mass with my Catholic wife, but as a spectator and not a participant. That's one option that I feel is not selling out anyone's personal principals. IMHO if the family knew about her feelings beforehand they have no call to be getting their collective knickers in a knot if she has now made clear that those feelings would prevent her from attending a religious ceremony of any type. And in any case the deceased is at two removes at least from her immediate family, her husband's sister's husband. Is the funeral going to be that small that she'll be missed? Maybe she could offer to go to the Irish wake, get really plowed and plead a sick headache in the morning . . .

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 10:03 pm
by Deleted
I'm an athiest in a Catholic family, and I'd never consider not going to a wedding or funeral in church. I even do baptisms.

I think it's just considerate of other people's feelings to do it... it doesn't mean you agree with the church's dogma. And I don't think that a death in the family is really the best time to take a stand on religion.

So I just go along... and depending on the solemnity of the occasion sit quietly with my own thoughts, or take the opportunity to compose some dirty limericks. Image

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 10:25 pm
by Deleted
or take the opportunity to compose some dirty limericks

and insert them into the hymn books.

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 12:08 am
by Deleted
Very good advice, thank you all. Similar in intent of my own advice.
MadMordigan, your's is an especially creative way to spend some down-time. Image

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 1:36 am
by Deleted
freemonkey:

As a long time atheist, and as many of my family and freinds are theists, at times of weddings, chrisenings, confirmations, funerals/wakes and similar venues when I am expected to attend in person, I have no problem doing so and do not consider my attendance as compromising my principles and beliefs. I simply look at it as respect for that individual and honor their social customs. With many of them, their religious rituals are a part of their personae. I simply set back and observe. But, I attend.

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 3:46 am
by Deleted
I've got no problem attending religious services, though like IvanK I don't participate (I might sing though). If it's the kind of place that has bibles in front of you I'll occasionally kill time by reading Revelation.

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 12:12 pm
by Deleted
I have been to the occasional church event as a matter of courtesy to those whose event it was. In the one case of a catholic mass, though, I did not take the host. This was accepted as perfectly allright and understandable by the others present.

(I wouldn't have minded a sip of the wine, though, but they never offer you that Image )

fG

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 12:17 pm
by Deleted
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by faded_Glory:
I have been to the occasional church event as a matter of courtesy to those whose event it was. In the one case of a catholic mass, though, I did not take the host. This was accepted as perfectly allright and understandable by the others present.

(I wouldn't have minded a sip of the wine, though, but they never offer you that Image )

fG
</font>
You mean you get SNACKS during the religious service. Well damn, no wonder Christianity is so popular. All they do at Jewish services is ask you for money then make you feel guilty for not giving enough.