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There's to be no fun at funerals — 6 Comments

  1. They would probably not have been the vicar’s first choice, but his vision of God was large enough to take in life outside of narrow liturgical things.

    If God is not a God who approves of fun and laughter, if he is a God who is only interested in formal liturgy, if he is a God who is only present through the recitation of particular sets of words, then I don’t think he is God at all.

    Some interesting and refreshing remarks there Ian.

    I can never understand why the Catholic Church seems to put more of its faith in doctrine, tradition, and institutionalisation of religion, than in the core message of “love one another as I have loved you”. I know so many lapsed Catholics out there who feel so alienated these days from their church. I may not share their beliefs, but I still feel quite sorry for them.

    Anyway, when I go out, it had better be with laughs and good music!

  2. No wonder we’re considered rebels by the Vatican. This would not be tolerated here (except maybe in St Mary’s Cathedral where George Pell holds Mass . . .we have as many eulogies by whomever we like and apart from playing death metal or something entirely inappropriate music is dictated by the family. Yet another example of the Church being totally out of step with reality. (Even the first Mass for World Youth day had young rockers doing their thing!)

  3. I heard an interesting quote – The occasion of a funeral has moved from “A rite performed by mourners to reinforce religion” to “The right of mourners to be comforted by a religious leader”. The National Funeral Directors Association in USA recently released a revealing statistic – in 2007, for the first time, more than 50% of funerals are held in a non-religious setting (eg the funeral directors premises). So what’s it all about? The religion, or the individual that died? Assuming God has welcomed the deceased, what’s God (ie the men who claim to repreent him) doing for those who remain here in grief? Just a thought.

  4. Ian

    When I’m gone, I want everyone to sing and dance on the streets in celebration of life.

    And, as at the funeral of Jonathan Philbin Bowman, I’d like people to dance out of the church service to…

    “Always look on the bright side of life”
    de dum, de dum, de dum, de dum. de dum!

    And, I would be hugely honoured to have someone with an outlook like yours, to be master of ceremonies! 😀

  5. I think part of the problem in Ireland arises from the shortage of priests, meaning that funerals are generally held at the usual weekday Mass, which is for the daily devout of the parish as well as for the funeral party. There are alternative ways of doing things, but the Irish church is so conservative. It will not allow a permanent diaconate which would allow many married men to exercise an active ministry.

  6. There is a wider issue where the RCC in Ireland has been basically been able to get away with being its reactionary self because of a more widespread fear by much of the laity of “letting the side down”.

    Personally, I would have become Anglican years ago except for the utter incomprehension and pain it would cause my elderly parents. Fifth Commandment for Irish Catholics trumps all others.

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