Catholic Funeral - Rosary and Viewing

by Gram 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Gram

    Tonight I attended a Rosary following the viewing. Tomorrow will be the funeral followed by the burial and then a reception.

    It was quite interesting and very different from JW funerals. It was held at the funeral home. The viewing was open casket. The rosary is a series of prayers led by a Priest. Then a little time inviting anyone to come up and speak about the deceased. All the time the casket was open. It was not sad at all. Actually quite uplifting. Anyone was invited to get up and say something if they wished. (My husband did. He has known this person since childhood.)

    Tomorrow will be the church funeral. That should be interesting as well.

  • AudeSapere

    Sorry for your loss.

    I went to my first non-jw funeral in 1998. I was amazed at how incredibly personal it was. The entire event was focused on the deceased.

    Really respectful, loving, sincere, life-affirming.

    Some people had pre-arranged (and announced) readings or speaches. Others were invited to say a few words if they desired.

    Such a different experience from any that have ever been held at a Kingdom Hall or conducted by a JW elder.


  • Snoozy

    I went to my first Cathollic memorial for a family friend a while back..I even posted about it ..

    One thing I can say about was long...and I never saw so many what I called rituals..and what seemed like chanting..actually they were just saying amen or repeating what the priest said ( a lot) ..then they would stand up then they would sit down..then they would stand up and pray..then they would kneel and pray....then they went to the front and some partook of the bread and wine..some didn't.

    they also had family and friends get up and say something about him..

    The priest told a joke that the decease had told him while playing golf together..
    He asked the Priest if he knew how to win at golf..the Priest said "How?"..the deceased told him "Lie"..the Priest thought that was funny...I thought the Priest was funny for thinking that was funny..being a Priest and all..

    It was quite interesting..he was cremated so they decided to do the memorial in the church..he also donated his body to a medical college here in there was no body. Afterwards we were invited to the basement for was very nice. I got to meet a lot of nice people.

    If I can find the link I will come back and post it here..

    edited to add link:


    ps..Let us know how the Funeral was...

  • jws

    I attended a Catholic funeral several years ago at the church. It was my first non-JW funeral. I was fascinated. From the time I entered, it was different. From the outside, the building seems rather plain. But inside, it seemed so full of religion. It was so unlike the boring sterile Kingdom Halls I went to. There were statues, paintings, and stained glass. So full of tradition and like Snoozy said, so full of ritual.

    As the first time seeing it, I was fascinated, like an anthropologist observing a tribal ritual in a rain forest village. And some parts didn't seem too different. There was one part where they let some sort of smoking cup swing above the coffin. It was like it was some magic potion they were waving over the deceased to scare away evil spirits. Maybe that's exactly what it was.

    I think as a first time experience, it was great. If I had to see it all the time and understood it, I'd think it's a bunch of naseating BS.

    Unlike the JWs, they did talk about the diseased and I found myself so much more connected to the person than I was before (he was only a guy I kind-of knew from work). It was uplifting.

    I also attended a Baptist funeral. That's a whole different experience. It was at a large Baptist church with the jumbotrons in various places and the organs and just the right amount of comfort to put you in that state of awe for brainwashing. Overall, the church seemed kind of sterile too. Except for the cross and the stained glass, it could have been a performing arts theater. It had a more commonly understandable format. They talked about the deceased, about heaven, prayed, etc. People came up and said things. It was a happy medium between the sales-pitch JW funeral and the rituals that only a Catholic would understand.

  • Kenneson

    "The smoking cup swing above the coffin." I'm a Catholic, so it's funny for me to hear it described that way.

    It's called a censer or thurible. A piece of coal is placed in the censer and then incense is put on it, which make all that smoke.

    It is used to symbolize prayer rising to God (Ps. 141:2 and Rev. 8:33-5) for the person who has died.

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    He was cremated and then the body went to a college?

  • Snoozy

    OMG White I meant he was donated to a medical college..I must have had my deceased hubby in my subconscious mind talking about funerals.. He was cremated..I can see me doing that because he was on my mind so much when I watched this womans husband slowly die..a sad time. We hugged and cried together for our losses...


  • garybuss

    I've attended Catholic weddings and many Catholic funerals including a couple that were High Masses at the Cathedral in Sioux Falls. As far as religious services, Catholic is my favorite. I'm extremely appreciative of my Catholic friends.

  • Ohio Nana
    Ohio Nana

    I come from the other direction. I was raised by Catholic step father and all his for generations Catholic family(nice people)but I was never a Catholic.I attended all the weddings(wow great parties)and funerals so they were just normal to me. My first JW memorial was a few months ago a lady I knew died suddenly at 57 and I was amazed it wasn't even about her and no one cried and I came away feeling empty and sadder than when I went.No comfort in it at all and that started by thinking about what was I doing studying to be a JW and then I found this site and woke up.

    Yes lots of ritual in anything Catholic but at least they talk about the person who died and their life etc and don't try to convert anyone at the funeral service.


  • rosarymart
    I have never been to any funerals but yes do attended many catholic weddings. It was really a wonderful experience to be a part of those rosaries. The bride was wearing rosary necklace, rings and bracelets.
  • bemused
    Whoa, hold on a moment. I've never been to a JW funeral (but have been to plenty of others). Are you saying that the deceased is not discussed at a JW funeral? People don't relive their memories of that person? WTH is said then?
  • sir82

    Are you saying that the deceased is not discussed at a JW funeral? People don't relive their memories of that person? WTH is said then?

    A typical JW funeral will consist of a talk by an elder, given in a Kingdom Hall. The casket is not there at all. It is maybe 2-3 minutes of anecdotes about the deceased, followed by 30 minutes of JW infomercial, thinly disguised as "this is what the deceased believed".

    The concluding words are usually along the lines of "now is the time to make sure you are doing what the Watchtower tells you to do, or you will die without hope of a resurrection", directed at JWs in the audience who are inactive or "spiritually weak".

    There are occasional exceptions to this, where the affair is somewhat warmer, but this is the format for 90+% of JW funerals.

  • OrphanCrow
    garybuss: I've attended Catholic weddings and many Catholic funerals including a couple that were High Masses at the Cathedral in Sioux Falls. As far as religious services, Catholic is my favorite. I'm extremely appreciative of my Catholic friends.

    Me too. I must have some Catholic running in my blood somewhere. There is Orthodox for sure. The heavy rituals and chanting get me.

    I have spent over 40 years being a religious tourist, in a way. I have attended services of everything from Ukranian Orhtodox to Native healing ceremonies.

    The Ukranian Orthodox wedding I went to was over 2 hours long - they put my JWs sister's hour long service to shame. I was entranced - the bride and groom actually donned heavy crowns at one point and all the chanting and ritual was quite the performance - heavily scripted. I hardly understood a word of what was said and I almost passed out from the heat and the getting up and down kneeling for the prayers. The food and drink that followed was memorable.

    A Ukranian Orthodox funeral from where I come from is an event that requires incredible stamina from all who are involved. I worked as a floral designer for several years and did the flowers for several.

    The most outstanding experience came when an elderly Ukranian woman died. The entire family took over the funeral home for 10 days leading up to the funeral. The casket was open the entire time and they had a 24 hour watch - sometimes there was as many as 20 people in attendance, complete with babies crawling on the floor and order in pizza boxes scattered around the chapel.

    It was the largest casket spray I have ever made, out of entirely red roses. The funeral director said that the church service was pure insantity - the service went on forever and ever, the family video taped the whole thing, there were candelabras with lit candles on each side of an open casket and when everybody filed past, weeping and kissing the grandmama, the lit candles would almost fall into the casket - the funeral directors had to grab the candelabras many times. It was a spectacle beyond spectacles.

    And then...the old lady's son died the next week. And it all happened again. except half the time and half the participants. I guess they were all tired out. Including the funeral directors. They had just had time to get the carpets all cleaned in the funeral home and it was a relief that the second time around wasn't so bad. The funeral home tightened up their rules on family viewing after that.

  • Dagney

    I'm drawn to the ritual and tradition also, something I ridiculed all my life. **sigh** But the real me seems to like it.

    Another exJW and I attended the Catholic service of another exJW a few years ago. I think it was the first for both of us. We boo hoo'd through the whole thing for some reason. Probably a culmination of a lot of things just came pouring out.

    Since then I've been to another of a distant relative. I'm just an onlooker, but for some reason, I really like peace of the ritual and tradition.

    Very interesting experience OrphanCrow.

  • Xanthippe

    I went to an Anglican high church funeral and nearly jumped out of my skin when the vicar entered the church behind us saying at the top of his voice ' I am the resurrection and the life'. I believe there was incense too and the vicar wore flowing green robes.

    It was a strange turn of events because the deceased, our friend, was an atheist and scientist by training who had befriended the vicar in a local pub and they had become drinking buddies. So the vicar, quite grief stricken at his friend's sudden death had offered to do his funeral. Some of the stories our friend's old college buddy told when he got up to speak were x - rated and it was amusing to hear our friend's sense of humour in that 'holy' or holier than thou place.

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