Funerals

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Su Wei, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Su Wei

    Su Wei
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    what are the usual proceedings your church undertakes when a christian dies?

    For us, we have a wake for about three days and we hold memorial services those nights. Preaching and singing. Sometimes, testimonies. THen a short exhortation at the burial site. Family and friends throw flowers (sometimes earth/ dirt) in.

    I thank God that christian funerals are more for the living than the departed. The soul is in the hands of our loving God. NOthing that we can do or not do can change that.
    Funerals of other religions that i've attended are all rites and rituals in hope to ease the dead's passage into the afterlife (whatever that is...).

    chanting. burning of paper money, palaces, and all kinds of things that people imagine the dead could use in hades (luxury cars, rolex watches etc... paper versions)

    I always think, what happens if the person is from a poor family and not able to afford all the funeral expenses, what happens to that soul? hmmmmmnnnn....
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    In Wyoming we have viewing of the deceased for 3-4 hours, with family present, on the day or evening prior to the funeral.

    For the funeral, it is 30-40 minutes, casket is closed prior to service. Song, scripture, prayer, challenge, obituary (life), often ask for folks to share memories, etc.

    Then (if weather good or not military) go to cemetery for 3-4 minute commital. Allow each famliy and friend to drop in flower or dirt.

    Then back to church for a dinner for family and any that want to join, provided by ladies of the church.

    Only the Catholics here have "wakes" with drinking and songs and sharing on the 2-3 nights before the funeral.
     
  3. Su Wei

    Su Wei
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    you mean the body is buried the very next day?
    For us, that's like the Muslim funerals.

    THen what happens if weather doesn't permit to go to the burial site?

    For us the casket is closed with a glass window for viewing.
     
  4. TaterTot

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    Normally, Sue, two days is the amount of time between death and the funeral. The body is pumped of the blood and preservative is pumped in.

    Here in Mississippi, we do call it a "wake" but we do as Dr. Bob described. Once at the graveside right before burial, the funeral director asked if anyone else would like to view the body before it was buried. They closed it up again, then proceeded.

    I understand from a friend and former missionary to Korea that the pastor is also in charge of "preparing" the body.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Not usually. Let's say a person dies on Sunday. The body would be taken to the mortuary and prepared the next day Monday (either cremated or embalmed). This takes some time.

    Also need to get notification in the newspaper and time for relatives to gather, often having to fly in from long distances.

    Probably a "viewing" on Tuesday evening (family and friends informally visit at the funeral home) and funeral Wednesday morning. Or even Thursday.
     
  6. Su Wei

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    i see.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Is your tradition for the "native" population or more of the British influence?
     
  8. Su Wei

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    well, good question. GOt me thinking.
    The British wisely practised separation of church and state. Chrisitianity was introduced here largely by British missionaries in the 19th century. i think the Americans came later.

    I'm really not too sure where our practice of the "wake" came from. i know the chinese religions (the rites and rituals i was mentioning) take a couple of nights.

    btw, the funeral services are most times held at the ground level of our flats. (Sometimes at a funeral parlor.) so the whole neighbourhood can heard the chanting and wailing, or the beautiful singing and worship.
     

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