I plan to have a regular funeral service for my parents at a funeral home, whether they are cremated or buried. Of course, when one of them goes and the other is left, there will be extensive discussions about it, but I know they will probably want a funeral at a funeral home so that worldly family will come. If the local congregation wants to do something afterward at the KH, so be it... The main even though, the eulogy and anything anyone else wants to say about them, will be held beforehand. The KH service will be held at a different time (hopefully weeks later). I can't take a huge amount of time out of work and I will be living about 1800 miles away, so I really won't be able to be present for that. Usually, a KH service is held a couple of weeks after the death. That's how it's done around here, anyway.
Will you attend the Kingdom Hall for a funeral of parents who are still JW's? If not, do you tell them beforehand?
What would happen at a kh funeral if there were numerous non jw's there and some of them requested to speak?
The funeral discourse is nothing more than another public talk. It is handled by an elder using the society outline.
Not only would non-jw's not be allowed to speak even JW family members (esp women) could not address the congregation.
The talk is nothing more than an info-mercial for the religious beliefs of JW's.
REMARKS REGARDING THE DECEASED
(Use any that apply and are appropriate.)
Details regarding age, birth, when married, and so forth
By whom the deceased is survived
Dedication record, including privileges of service
Exemplary qualities displayed by the deceased (Eccl. 7:1)
THE HOPE THE DECEASED ENTERTAINED
Worshiped Jehovah, the God of wisdom, justice, love, power
Had faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12)
Appreciated God’s purpose regarding earth (Gen. 1:28)
Sure to be realized (Isa. 11:9; 55:10, 11; Rev. 21:4)
Why good people die
Disobedience of Adam (Gen. 3:19; contrast with Genesis 2:7.)
Offspring inherited death (Rom. 5:12)
Condition of the dead
Soul is mortal (Ezek. 18:4, 20)
Dead are unconscious (Ps. 146:4; Eccl. 3:19; 9:5, 10)
The resurrection hope
Made possible by sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Matt. 20:28)
Christ’s resurrection a guarantee (1 Cor. 15:22, 23)
God uses Jesus to raise the dead (John 5:28, 29)
For the anointed, resurrection is to heavenly life (1 Cor. 15:51-54; Rev. 20:4, 6)
“Other sheep” resurrected to life in earthly Paradise (Luke 23:43; John 10:16)
Armageddon survivors can hope to see the deceased one again soon
Others too are in line for resurrection (Acts 24:15)
WHY IT IS GOOD TO GO TO HOUSE OF MOURNING
Can comfort the bereaved; loss is mutual
Take to heart uncertainty of life (Ps. 90:12; Eccl. 7:2)
Makes us think about how we are using our life
HOW WE CAN BENEFIT FROM BEING HERE
While living, make good name with Jehovah God (Eccl. 7:1)
Lay up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-21)
One way is to take zealous part in witness work, if qualified (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20)
In this way and by godly conduct, we contribute to sanctification of Jehovah’s name (Prov. 27:11)
Resurrection hope an incentive to learn and do divine will (1 Cor. 15:58)
(Note: Opening with prayer is optional. Instead of eulogizing the deceased, use the material in this
outline to give a fine witness concerning the truth. Good balance should be observed in this respect.
Doctrinal points can be presented as beliefs of the deceased, which served as motivation for him. Purpose
of talk is to uphold Jehovah God as a God of love and mercy and at the same time bring comfort to the
bereaved. Use of a song such as No. 111 is optional. A brief prayer at the close is fitting. When
arrangement is made to go to the grave, it is well to consider quite briefly the hope through the Kingdom,
reading one or two scriptures, such as Job 14:14, 15 and 1 Corinthians 15:54b-57. This service may also
be closed with prayer, thanking Jehovah for the resurrection hope, which is of great comfort. The talk
need not exceed 30 minutes.)
2008Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania All Rights Reserved
That outline made me sick...I couldn't read any more than the first couple of sentences after they quit talking about the deceased! That's horrible!! A few lines spent on the person, the rest a goddamned sales pitch! AAAAAH!
May I ask a related, historical question? I recall only one Jehovah's Witness funeral in the KH growing up. It was tragic. I saw a young black brother active in ministry at WT study and we even spoke to him as we left. A few hours earlier we received a phone call. Someone driving drunk killed him and two other brothers/sisters were in critical condtion. There was an open casket. Catholics and C of E require a closed casket in a church. His death was so violent the coffin should have been closed.
All my family funerals (all JWs) were held at a funeral home. Bethelites came over (a very short distance) to preach. The family had a funeral home (the brother who became a Witness went out of business with his antireligion sentiments) so maybe that skewed things. All the other funerals were at funeral homes. I think I recall someone saying to the effect that it was tacky in the KH.
Maybe it was local custom. We did not have weddings. They seemed private, too.
What does the WT tell a Witness to do for a relative's funeral in a church? Stay away!
Watchtower 5/15/2002 p. 28, Questions From Readers:
Q: Would it be advisable for a true Christian to attend a funeral or a wedding in a church?
A: Our taking part in any form of false religion is displeasing to Jehovah and must be avoided.
So what is the right thing to do? Go to the KH funeral, show respect for the deceased and sympathy for the family. That is how you show compassion and human decency, regardless of your religious differences.
The talk is nothing more than an info-mercial for the religious beliefs of JW's.
Totally agree with that its so scripted by the WTS.
I went to my mother's funeral about 5 years ago and since I haven't been inside of a KH for 25 years or more
it was like going back in time, a time of not so pleasant memories.
Its like they were using my mothers death as a promotional vehicle to support their religion.
Most of the talk was quoting scriptures to support their doctrines then there
was brief statement about who my mother was and I mean brief.
I went of course to pay my last respects to her, since she had been involved with organization for 50 years.
One thing that annoyed me the most was there was no one making a eulogy within my family who really knew her,
talking about what a great mother she was bringing 6 kids and looking after all of us very well, she was a very attentive mother.
Talking to creepy brainwashed JWS after the funeral at an reception was also unpleasant.
Some of these asinine people wouldn't speak a word to me even thought I approached them and said Hi.
I guess they thought I must have been DFed, since I stopped attending so many years ago......NOT
I guess every situation is different. My mother, though she always wished I would come back to the hall, never cut me out of her life. Because of this, I chose to respect what I knew were her wishes, though I wasn't crazy about being around those JWs even for a second. The other thing for me and my brother is that we wanted those witnesses who are so quick to cast a judgemental eye towards us "unfaithful" offspring that 1. we would spare no expense to send Mom off in style and 2. that we showed a visible love of Mom and a respect for her beliefs by including many of them. I think it was a good anti-witness and we all had a chance to send Mom off in style when we scattered her ashes at sea the next day from a chartered boat. We all had a chance to say the things we wanted to say as we said our final goodbyes.
At my JW mother's funeral, my df'd brothers were there and sat with the rest of us. They were discreet and respectful of the JW b*llsh*t rules about talking to them. However, after the service, one of the older sisters we have known from childhood walked up to me and my brother while we were standing together talking. She began hugging us and offering her condolences. She must have forgotten that my brother had been df'd for years. Suddenly, another sister came up to her and whispered something in her ear. She got the stupidest most vile look on her face and literally backed away in horror as if she had just been exposed to poison. My poor brother just stood there looking around trying to figure out what he was supposed to do. They are pathetic people, imo.
Personally, I would see no problem in attending the funeral at the Kingdom Hall. I agree with other posters who say it's just another reigious building.
However, as a family member, perhaps you could encourage the rest of the family to hold the funeral at the mortuary if that is customary in your area. It is more common here to still have a funeral at the mortuary or funeral home. I have seldom seen a full funeral (casket and all) from a Kingdom Hall. The only Kingdom Hall funerals we see here are Memorial Services when the deceased was cremated. Usually this is done to save on the cost of a traditional funeral.
My mother's JW funeral took a lot out of me. I was disgusted by the whole sales pitch thing. When it was over, I was mobbed by people that weren't supposed to be talking to me in the first place. None of them said "I'm sorry for your loss". They all said "You know, you really should come back". Disgusting.
Never again. Ever.