My Grandmothers Funeral

by Enrique Tomlinson 1 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Enrique Tomlinson 1
    Enrique Tomlinson 1


    My beloved Grandmother has passed away and her funeral is next week at a Kingdom Hall. She was a loyal JW, and unfortunately I am not understanding of the funeral procedures. Please could you kindly explain what what will happen in the funeral?

    I have written a simple poem about my Grandmother, it is not humorous or offensive. It is beautiful and talks of the love she had for her family.

    I would like to read this at her funeral.

    Please could you advise if this would be allowed? I would like to stress that I am not a JW, but am an atheist and have not explored my religious beliefs.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • LongHairGal


    I am very sorry about your grandmother.

    Unfortunately, a Jehovah’s Witness funeral held at a kingdom hall is basically a showcase for the religion and I have never heard of an outsider allowed to read something (anybody correct me if I’m wrong).

    At the kingdom hall a brother will get on the podium and talk about the religion’s ‘hope’ for the dead with a few comments thrown in about the deceased..Some feel it’s a Witness infomercial and find it offensive.

    If your family had her service at a funeral home and Witnesses weren’t running the show, then you would be free-er to read the poem in honor of her.

  • Incognito

    Enrique, my condolences for the loss of your Grandmother.

    Welcome to the forum.

    I don't know if a family member contributing to the eulogy of their loved one is not permitted as LongHairGal suggested, but in almost 40 years as a JW, I've never seen that done at a Kingdom Hall.

    All JW 'memorial' services I have attended, have been as LHG mentioned, mostly a presentation about the beliefs of the departed person, with only minimal mention of the person they claim to be memoralizing.

  • JoenB75
    It was probably her dying wish to let the JWs conduct her funeral. I would talk to them. In my fathers case he did read a little something we wished to be read and focused the speech on his faith in John 3:16 and Jehovah. But you can only hope they take your wishes into consideration
  • pale.emperor

    My condolences to you.

    Adding to what others have said here, they wont let you read a poem up on the platform in the Kingdom Hall. But it would be possible in the crematorium or burial site if you make your intentions known beforehand.

    Also be aware that in this time of grief, some well-meaning Jehovah’s Witnesses will more than likely use it as an opportunity to try and offer you a “free home bible study” and inform you that, as they believe, god promises an earthly resurrection where you can see her again.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    you can give them a copy of the poeme. If they say no, you can still stand up towards the end, walk right up to the podium and say you'd like to read it. It will be much harder for them to say no then. I have seen this before.

  • Giordano

    I am sorry for your loss. I am also sorry that you will have to endure the waste of time a JW funeral service is.

    I have attended four close family funeral services over a 30 year period who were 'memorialized' for being a JW. Usually this personal part took 3 to 10 minutes. The next 30 to 40 minutes is a religious corporate recruitment talk....... and self congratulation about how wonderful being a JW is.

  • Ding

    I don't have anything to add about what to expect.

    I just want to extend my condolences on your loss.

  • tiki

    The funeral at the kingdom hall is pretty simple. The speaker typically relates some facts about the deceased, emphasizing their religious preferences and involvement. Then the main topic of resurrection to a paradise earth is presented, with bible verses used. At the end there is a song and prayer. Only the elder speaking is at the family or friends share in the presentation. Whatever arrangements for burial and/or gathering subsequent are announced. That's it....I wish you peace and a comfortable adjustment to your loss....

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    Condolences. Unhappily a JW memorial is as described. They do have someone from the witnesses relate an anecdote at times in addition to the preacher. He will read verbatim the information from the remembrance card( I cant think of the proper name) complete with mispronouncing names. Then say " she wanted you to know" ; then go into the sermon part. The song will most likely be a recording from their song book, nothing else allowed. Be aware the songs go from tolerable to dismal in arrangement and tune. I have heard applause twice at the end like it was a play or movie. 🙄

    If they have a reception you may be able to read your poem there. Ask. You can post it on the funeral home memorial page. Or put it here, we will appreciate the sentiment.

    I know of a few who have forgone any memorial, i think because of the disappointed hope they had.

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