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Thread: Funeral Rites

  1. #1
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Funeral Rites

    Recently we where discussing the notion of what happens to a soul of an aborted spirit. That got me to pondering how I view funeral rites and processions.

    It occurred to me that I have no specific funeral rites or processions for I consider the body to be an empty shell upon death. As such I see the funeral rites and processions more for the benefit of those who remain than for the spirit / body of the person who has dropped their earthly garb.

    As a genealogist the rites and processions are of importance for it marks the passage of life. Many times even giving me an idea of family groupings based upon cemeteries used, dates, etc. Many times not a mater of importance if the grave is marked or simply a depression grave where someone was buried long ago.

    So it, to me anyway, raises the question .. Are funeral rites for the deceased or the living? If the living then how does one explain the restless dead who roam until their bodies are given a proper funeral and funeral rites to lay them to rest. If for the dead then why are there not more restless dead when their funeral rites do not match their spiritual practices or are changed after death by a later descendant. I am thinking of the Later Day Saints (LDS) Morman practice of baptizing their ancestor's into their religion long after death for instance.

    Of course none of this really touching upon the notion of a body that is desecrated in anyway can not get into the after life. Consider many Native American beliefs that to remove or destroy the eyes caused the deceased to wander lost between worlds. So that would seem to imply that cremated would be seen as desecration of the body in that instance.

    So many aspects of funeral rites and practices to be considered or pondered.

  2. #2
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    I think most modern funerals are for the living. I think a lot of people had beliefs in the past that made funerals more of a thing for the deceased, but most people (at least in our cultures in the countries represented on this board) don't believe in stuff like taking things with you into the afterlife and all that jazz. That considered, I think funerals have to be for the living, because nothing else justifies the sheer expense of them.

    Personally I don't even care what my family does after they die. I do want to make it clear that I don't expect them to spend a lot of money, and they should only do so if it really makes them feel better.

  3. #3
    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    I personally feel like funeral rites are for the living rather than the dead. And some funeral rites make me crazy, I am not a fan of funerals at all... I feel like most of them are empty and devoid of any real meaning... but thats just me



    and I am only speaking to the ones I have been privy to.
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    But they were doughnuts of darkness. Evil damned doughnuts, tainted by the spawn of darkness.... Which could obviously only be redeemed by passing through the fiery inferno of my digestive tract.
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  4. #4
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de Luna View Post
    I personally feel like funeral rites are for the living rather than the dead. And some funeral rites make me crazy, I am not a fan of funerals at all... I feel like most of them are empty and devoid of any real meaning... but thats just me
    That's my general position as well, it's done to make the living feel better about it. I also agree that many if not most are rather empty when you attend them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    I think most modern funerals are for the living. I think a lot of people had beliefs in the past that made funerals more of a thing for the deceased, but most people (at least in our cultures in the countries represented on this board) don't believe in stuff like taking things with you into the afterlife and all that jazz. That considered, I think funerals have to be for the living, because nothing else justifies the sheer expense of them.
    I think the notion of death as a whole is different today. It's like as close as 50 years ago it was common to keep a death watch over a body at home. As such death, and life for that matter, was tied closer to the living and I think to a degree less something to be feared than today.

    As far as taking things with them I do think that continues to a degree when you consider the things placed in a coffin with the deceased. Granted not like the old or archaic days when ones wives, horses, etc were buried or burned with them for passage into the next world. Very much different from the archaic notion of building giant funeral caches to be buried with the body as in ancient China, Japan, Egypt, etc.

    Personally I don't even care what my family does after they die. I do want to make it clear that I don't expect them to spend a lot of money, and they should only do so if it really makes them feel better.
    I think the only thing I am sure of is if they are going to spend a lot of money then make it a "Wake" like the Irish used to do. But then again I h ave Irish ancestry so perhaps that is just a hold over.

  5. #5
    Supporter Hawkfeathers's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    I hate when people publicly mourn someone they didn't care about in life. I've told my friends & relatives who live far away that if they can't come see me while I'm alive, if they attempt to make a showing here when I die they will be either turned away or shot at the edge of town.

    Can you hear me, Major Tom? I think I love you.

  6. #6
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    People still put stuff in a coffin? I don't know anyone who did that.....

  7. #7
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    People still put stuff in a coffin? I don't know anyone who did that.....
    I know it still happens in the Southern States of the US quite a bit. We recently buried my late father-in-law and a number of items were interned with him.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkfeathers View Post
    I hate when people publicly mourn someone they didn't care about in life. I've told my friends & relatives who live far away that if they can't come see me while I'm alive, if they attempt to make a showing here when I die they will be either turned away or shot at the edge of town.
    Have to admit that does get to me. It's like mourning for a public figure though all you ever knew was what they wanted you to know. Family wise it gets bad, especially when it comes to will's and such and the shirt tail family member's come running in hopes of getting something.

    Now I won't say all of them for I have relatives who we only see every ten to fifteen years due to distances, ages and health issues. Those it tends to be a long planned out thing when we go visit them or they visit us.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    People still put stuff in a coffin? I don't know anyone who did that.....
    Just a follow up but this did remind me that I will have a coin placed in my hands for the boatman and probably the ashes for a pet I truly loved who recently had to be put down.

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    Supporter Hawkfeathers's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    When my 19 y/o cockatiel, Mack, died, I had him cremated. In the box with his ashes I placed his favorite small toys, a sunflower seed left from his dish when he died, a couple of his molted feathers, and a note I wrote to him. Exactly one year after the last moment I saw him alive, (I knew the time I last saw him because a tv show had ended and I went up to bed) I was at a very loud boisterous concert, and was able, unnoticed, to yell out "Love you Mack" at the top of my lungs. Corny? Yeah, that's me. LOL

    My father's funeral somehow possessed my mother to start ranting about how wonderful he was. They were divorced and she had nothing good to say about him when he was alive. I wanted to pull her off his coffin by her hair and throw her across the universe. Never spoke to her again.

    Famous people are kind of different - if I could, when someone who had been in some way influential in my life or one I'd met, etc., passed, I might attend a public ceremony of some kind.

    Wills and money bring out the worst in people, I've seen it over and over. I've known of people who swarmed on a dead woman's house to argue over who got which Tupperware bowls! And took the flowers home! It's crazy.

    Can you hear me, Major Tom? I think I love you.

  9. #9
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkfeathers View Post
    When my 19 y/o cockatiel, Mack, died, I had him cremated. In the box with his ashes I placed his favorite small toys, a sunflower seed left from his dish when he died, a couple of his molted feathers, and a note I wrote to him. Exactly one year after the last moment I saw him alive, (I knew the time I last saw him because a tv show had ended and I went up to bed) I was at a very loud boisterous concert, and was able, unnoticed, to yell out "Love you Mack" at the top of my lungs. Corny? Yeah, that's me. LOL
    I just had to have my Dalmatian Fred put down. We had him cremated and I will have his ashes buried with me when I finally go. Fred came into my life at a period where I was very tired of living and didn't want to go on any longer. It killed me to have him put down but I couldn't stand to see him struggle anymore and we were forced to move so he would have been in a kennel which would have made his last days even worse.

    They say men are not supposed to cry but I have a difficult time not shedding a tear when I think about him.

    My father's funeral somehow possessed my mother to start ranting about how wonderful he was. They were divorced and she had nothing good to say about him when he was alive. I wanted to pull her off his coffin by her hair and throw her across the universe. Never spoke to her again.
    I don't know why but it seem's people always find something good to say about the deceased. Even if they despised them in real life in death it's something different. Seem's it's done many times not for the deceased but for the living to save themselves from something and make them feel better.

    Famous people are kind of different - if I could, when someone who had been in some way influential in my life or one I'd met, etc., passed, I might attend a public ceremony of some kind.
    For me its different I suppose. A famous person is as much a stranger to us as the faceless person who just passed us on the street. We make them more than they are and raise them to a position they seldom can hold before cold reality. Even the notion of them influencing ones life to me seem's strange when you consider they played a role most often not that they actually did something.

    Not to say I think less of them I just don't place them upon the pedestal. It's like Princess Diana, she was raised to such a height she could not live there yet how many remember that Mother Teresa died the same week? Probably not to many as Princess Diana became more than she could carry because people made her more than she ever was.

    Wills and money bring out the worst in people, I've seen it over and over. I've known of people who swarmed on a dead woman's house to argue over who got which Tupperware bowls! And took the flowers home! It's crazy.
    For sure. Even when you try to avoid it, it still seems to come to pass as people try to get what they think is their's often prior to the will being read it seems.

  10. #10
    Supporter Hawkfeathers's Avatar
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    Re: Funeral Rites

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    I just had to have my Dalmatian Fred put down. We had him cremated and I will have his ashes buried with me when I finally go. Fred came into my life at a period where I was very tired of living and didn't want to go on any longer. It killed me to have him put down but I couldn't stand to see him struggle anymore and we were forced to move so he would have been in a kennel which would have made his last days even worse.

    They say men are not supposed to cry but I have a difficult time not shedding a tear when I think about him.

    Sorry for your loss of Fred. My Buddy will probably outlive me, but if not his ashes will be with mine & Mack's someday.

    Can you hear me, Major Tom? I think I love you.

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