Will you attend the Kingdom Hall for a funeral of parents who are still JW's? If not, do you tell them beforehand?

by ThomasCovenant 38 Replies latest jw friends

  • ThomasCovenant

    I was recently talking to an ex Witness whose elderly parents, and in law parents, are still Witnesses.

    As shocking and incomprehensible as it may seem to both sets of parents, this ex Witness believes that, just like every other human throughout human history, they are going to die.

    Now this ex Witness has expressed to me that he won't ever step foot in a Kingdom Hall again.

    He is in a dillemma as to what to do about their funerals. He does not want to attend any service held at the Kingdom Hall as the service will be heavily controlled by the seven members of the Governing Body that reside in Brooklyn and who don't know his parents at all.

    He is quite willing to stand outside the Hall, or attend the crematorium or gravesite or funeral home and also any wake that takes place afterwards as people are more free to express themselves in a less formal setting. But as a matter of principle against the Watchtower religion he was quite insistent that he will not enter the Hall for the funeral service.

    Now his problem is, does he wait until after the first relative dies and then just not enter the Hall but stay outside, or, does he inform his still living parents beforehand and tell them, in a loving way, that he just cannot bring himself to attend their upcoming funerals if they take place in a Kingdom Hall?

    If he just waits till the first funeral, he will only be upsetting the surviving parent who he realizes will already be in a very low state emotionally (although really should be ecstatic at the thought that their spouse has made it to the New System).

    If he speaks to both parents before either of them dies then he will be upsetting both of them but at least the survivor won't be so shocked at the non attendance of their son.

    Any thoughts on his thinking process?

    Any advice?

    Would you attend the Hall or not?

  • jean-luc picard
    jean-luc picard

    I have recently been reflecting on this issue myself, since I feel as your friend does.

    However, I do not feel as if I wish to discuss it beforehand, but will wait until the time comes.

    However, each one must weigh up his own circumstances.

  • sizemik

    Personally speaking, I would attend the KH . . . it's only a building . . . and his parents have freedom of religious choice all said and done.

    Best to just treat it like any other funeral . . . whatever Church the deceased chooses

    Anything other than that will cause huge upset . . . is it worth it? . . . Not everyone who attends, say, a Baptist funeral is a Baptist right . . . same for Catholics or any other religion.

    The GB has no hold on him . . . but he has the freedom to not be there if he wishes . . . he doesn't have to demonstrate that freedom at every turn just because he can.

    Thinking individuals will realise that . . . and respect him for it.

    In any case . . . no need to make that call too early . . . take time . . . things may change

  • Pig

    I wonder if you choose to have a non JW funeral you get disfellowshiped. Can you still be disfellowshiped when your dead? I guess it would mean people couldnt talk abouty you any more.

    Funerals are for the familiy, not the dead. Dont expect any support from JW's if you arent one. But support other JW family members if you can

  • not bitter
    not bitter

    I'm sure this friend of yours would have no problem attending a funeral for a family member at a Catholic or C of E building even though this friend probably disagrees with those religions also.

    I know that I too would feel uncomfortable attending a funeral of a close relative at the KH but I would do it for the sake of the remaining family still attending so as not to make their grief even worse. After all, it wouldn't kill me would it.

    It wouldn't make bit of difference to the congregation if your friend attended or not. They probably wouldn't notice or care but the family would.

    I know that I will attend both my parents funerals at the KH even though I'd despise every minute of it. But it wouldn't bother me if some of my family decided against it.

  • Scully

    My parents told me - when I was still living under their roof - that if I ever married out of The Truth™ they would not come to my wedding. Apparently they've softened over the decades since then, and have three times attended non-KH weddings (all civil ceremonies, not held in a church) for my siblings.

    I don't see why I have to tell them that I'm not going to their KH funerals - they are the ones who set the standard and should not be surprised if I don't show up for their infomercial funeral. I've seen the what qualifies for a JW Memorial Service™ (a brief paragraph mentioning the deceased, the remaining 19 minutes of WT propaganda) and feel that it doesn't adequately respect the dead or the living who attend. Besides, their beliefs claim that the dead are conscious of nothing, so it shouldn't make a difference to them.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    I would, and will when my mother passes.

    However, you dont go to a funeral to pay respects to the dead. That should be done while they are alive.

    At the funeral you are showing others that the person meant something to you.

    thats what i believe anyway


  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    I attended the JW funeral of my father a few years ago.

    While I wouldn't attend a KH for any other reason that a wedding or funeral, I considered attending as my right as his daughter. I would have attended whether it was in a KH or a Catholic cathedral - it's all the same to me now.

    I think your friend should do the same, especially if he has a surviving parent. Do it as comfort and support for his other parent, not because of the religious teachings of the religion.

  • carla

    What would happen at a kh funeral if there were numerous non jw's there and some of them requested to speak? I understand at some churches this is done and someone I know went to a kh funeral and were appalled by the lack of respect shown to the deceased.

  • Scully

    At the funeral you are showing others that the person meant something to you.

    Which would be fine, imo, if the service itself showed that the person meant something to the Organization™ represented by it. The whole WTS Funeral Discourse™ is an exercise in disrespect for the deceased, from the "need not exceed 30 minutes" clause down to the scripted paragraph dedicated to the deceased's memory, which is followed by a sales pitch directed to the non-JWs in attendance.

    I can show what the person meant to me by planting a tree or a rosebush in my garden. I really don't need to show "others" that my parents meant something to me. That should be clearly evident by strenuous lengths we've gone through to maintain the relationship despite the JW nonsense. If all I have to do is show up at their funeral, then are all those efforts to respect them and maintain a relationship while they're still living a waste of time??

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