Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fern and Spawn Go To A Funeral

Blessings Darlings!

At this point of time I'm actively grieving the death of a friend.  Her funeral was this morning, my son and I (we both worked with her) were able to attend the funeral but not last nights viewing.

We don't go to many funerals.  Part of it is our ages (relatively few of the folks we're close to die very often), partly because for family deaths we are more likely to visit the family during the week of observing shiva ("the week-long mourning period in Judaism for first-degree relatives"), but mostly because we have a policy of being with folks for celebrations while they are alive.  When you move and leave family 600 miles away - I think that's a sound policy.  YMMV.

This was the Spawn's first time at a Christian funeral.  All the funerals he's been to before have been Jewish.  Judaism, being orthopraxic, has funerals based on respect for the body, remembering the person who died, and performing the appropriate prayers for the dead and for comfort to the mourning (specifics of those can be Googled but a good synopsis is available here).  

This funeral was not like that.  I don't know if it was a regional difference, this being West Virginia/Western Panhandle Maryland/flyover country and not some Big City Suburbs (the last Christian funeral I was at was in the DC suburbs) or if it was the brand of Christianity.  I didn't ask.  I expected hymns, Psalms of comfort, and, yes, I did expect an altar call despite none of the other Christian funerals I'd been at having altar calls. 

The altar call was there, calling on folks to come to Jesus and alter their lives.  The Spawn was surprised by that.  I'm going to have to have a chat with him that monotheism stuff again, and why some monotheists see their way as the only way.  

The secular country and pop music in place of hymns was a surprise.  Two of them I found jarring. Dudes - Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" is about sex, not a religious song. I'm guessing that's regional?  The minister seemed, for quite a while, to be MCing the funeral rather than leading it.  Even when the one recorded Christian hymn was played ... no one sang along.  It was a performance to be heard by an audience, even the minister didn't sing.  Then, the only things he said about our friend herself (other than what a blessing it would be for her funeral to lead folks to Jesus) was to literally read her obituary.  That was it.  Again - jarring.

Yes, I'm used to both Jewish and Pagan funerals/memorial services.  The living people at those services are PART of the service.  That's what a Jewish minyan is all about - a quorum of folks working together.  Working together.  THAT'S what was missing the most.  The only thing that you could do to 'work together' was to show up and be a passive audience.  Jarring.

I'm still processing the death.  I'm still processing the funeral.  I'm pondering regional differences.

I'm still

Frondly, Fern

No comments:

Post a Comment