All JW memorial services I've been to have been similar. A couple of sentences about the deceased and then it's all about the religion. Very impersonal and scripted. No room for eulogies or slide shows or anything remotely different.
A very well known JW died recently in New South Wales (Australia) - they had the works. Eulogies, slides, drinks and refreshments in the kingdom hall afterwards. They even had a linkup to a kingdom hall in another State. It was all about him and not much was said about the "hope for the future." I questioned this with some JW relatives and they said they've got all the facilities now to do slide shows. Everything is a lot more sophisticated and how much better that is. And why wouldn't you do eulogies - there's never been a law against it. They gave examples of other recent memorial services which were similarly relaxed and much more normal.
Is this generally what's happening all over the world or is it just in Australia?
Yes that's about it!
Keep eulogising and open remarks about deceased to a minimum and personify the outline to make it sound like this is specifically what the deceased believed.
Absolutely boring - Unfortunately I had to attend a Memorial Service for my beloved M-in-L 3 weeks ago and although the speaker was very big friends with Gran he hardly made any mention of her truly magnificent record of "fine works" and acts of love toward her fellowman.
Recently the talk outline for memorials changed.
The original one specifically stated something along the lines of:
This talk is not a eulogy. Talk about the person shortly (preferably mention only his cult accomplishments and slavery), then continue with the impersonal cult stuff.
The new outline instructs to weave remarks about the person throughout the talk, as long as it supports the cult stuff they're trying to plug.
Plus the guy was well known, and JW are all about connections.
The idea is that it's a great opportunity to witness to "worldly" people who might be there. One poster here referred to memorial talks as "infomercials."
i attended a service for an old friend this week. The friend who did the eulogy did speak highly of the deceased friend, but somehow it came up short because he was more focused on himself. Same idea with Witness services.
But then again, it's a tough job when you open up the emotional aspect. If I had been the one doing the speaking, I would have been a mess. I probably would have made a mess out of everybody there!
Recently went to a service performed by an Anglican minister, and there were actually quite a few witnesses there too (it wasn't in a church, not that it should matter).
I thought it was an excellent service (a few key scriptures and lots of interesting remarks about their life)
Of course many of the witnesses criticized the whole thing, for not focussing on an earthly hope etc.
My impression was it was far better than what you hear in a Kingdom Hall.
To hijack a funeral and preach Brooklyn dogma is a unforgivable crime, the poor person who has died is entitled to a decent goodbye.
this is why i didn't attend the service for my dad.. i knew it wouldn't be about him anyhow but more bla... bla... bla... crud about the org. and an opportunity for my 'family' to try to use the emotion of the event to drag me back into the group. :/ in effect, it never was about him so why go? mom sent me a cop of the obit they were 'allowed' to put in the local paper... got about three sentences in and put it away... turned my stomach to be honest...
The thing to remember is that the Watch Tower organization is really just a business. (Run by a cult masquerading as a religion.) And like any cold-hearted business, marketing strategies are always going to be used in everything, even in a funeral for one of their own.
Jeannie, that's so sad...
Thanks everyone for your insights. Sounds like they have relaxed somewhat but maybe the high profile JWs are more aware of it.
My mother's funeral talk was given by a dear friend of hers, a friend of 50 years. Despite this, it was still pretty cold...a few facts about her life and service to the org, but mostly the JW infomercial we've come to know so well. Oh, and he did find it necessary to share that my brother and I had 'turned away from Jehovah'...
What a dickface.