Sunday, April 12, 2009

Are these practices common to all Baptist funerals or are they secular inventions by the funeral home?

I recently attended the funeral of a Baptist relative in Georgia (USA); and I noticed some practices that seemed very different from the burial traditions of Episcopalians (Anglican Communion) and the Roman Catholic Church.

Are these practices regional (Southern US), religious, or completely secular (invented by the funeral industry)?

1) The coffin did not remain closed after the visitation the night before the funeral. It was re-opened near the end of the service so that the mourners could take turns (row by row) to view the body. (The funeral took place in the funeral home%26#039;s chapel.)

2) The coffin could not be lowered for burial until the mourners had left. It was left above ground with a bouquet on top. (No earth was cast on it.) The family was told that they could return in an hour and that everything would be %26quot;fixed%26quot; with the flowers from the funeral placed on the grave.

Are these practices common to all Baptist funerals or are they secular inventions by the funeral home?
All of our funerals, around Pittsburgh Pa have been done like this:

1. The casket is open for a prayer session in the morning before the funeral and then it is closed as the people are readied to go over to the Church

2. The casket is not lowered and is left at ground level while the flowers from the funeral home are placed on it. If the family has a bouquet to leave there, they do. They file past the site and leave. Prior to this there is, in the Catholic Rite, a final prayer in a funeral tent or cemetary chapel.

This is the tradition I%26#039;m used to and it seems similar to what you had experienced. I have seen that they do seem to do it different in New York and possibly in the North east, by the family putting dirt onto the casket after it is lowered. They seemed to stop that here because people thought that lowering the casket was too painful for people, or my Mother said something like that once. But I also noticed that they moved the cemetary ceremony indoors or into a tent because it was just too cold for the old people and too hard for them to walk.
Reply:No I bet it has to do with the funeral home.
Reply:I grew up in a Baptist home and attended a couple of family funerals like this. So it must be relatively normal. I%26#039;m not sure if they were doing it to %26#039;be baptist%26#039; or just because that%26#039;s how the people who died wanted their funerals to be, though.
Reply:The funeral service pretty much is determined by the deceased (before death of course) and/or the family of the deceased.
Reply:Sounds like a typical American burial to me.
Reply:That is sick! I bet there were kids there. What could possibly be gained by letting a child see a dead relative?
Reply:Sounds like a typical funeral that I have attended.
Reply:Hi there, I am a funeral director, and this has been my experience with the Greek Orthodox religion, and possibly some Protestant faiths. They practice much of what you described. We try our best to abide by the wishes of the family, so it also could have likely been the request of the family. Take care!
Reply:This is a matter of choice and offered to the family as to their preference. I do many funerals of all denominations - I am on staff at a large cemetery. I have seen what you have mentioned and I%26#039;ve seen it every conceivable way.

It%26#039;s usually when the funeral home is running things and not a member of the clergy.

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Funeral question - I need an opinion: Is this tacky or not?

My husband%26#039;s grandmother died last night.

Today, as my husband and I were making arrangements to send flowers for the funeral, my mother-in-law called and told us that the poor dead woman%26#039;s daughters have decided that in lieu of flowers, they just want cash!! Not money to be donated to a worthy cause, but rather just money outright in their pockets (funeral arrangements were pre-made %26amp; paid for in advance).

We think this is exceptionally offensive and rather tacky of them (like this is just a way to get money for their %26quot;grief%26quot;). What%26#039;s your opinion?

Funeral question - I need an opinion: Is this tacky or not?
VERY TACKY!!!!!! If they were setting up a charity or something it would be different. But, it sounds like they are just greedy....and it shows a lot about their character - UGLY! I would pay respect to her by giving her flowers or something personal to her, not by giving the daughters money!
Reply:I think it%26#039;s tacky, too. However, you have a few options: go ahead and send flowers, donate to a charity in the deceased%26#039;s name, or give a donation to her church. I would prefer the donation method myself. Anyone who finds anything wrong with that is just being selfish and even tackier.
Reply:Wow, that is very tacky. I have never heard of people doing that? Just send the flowers out of respect for your husband%26#039;s grandmother.
Reply:Very tacky!!! You could just by single red roses to toss in the grave.
Reply:They are doing it these days, a lot of grave sites you can%26#039;t put the flowers their, so what they are doing is Giving money to the love one favorite charity, or your charity, in memory of your Grand-mom. and you can right it off your taxes. So it is not tacky, it is the in thing!
Reply:Send flowers.... the hell with those selfish *********.s.
Reply:thats not only tacky but extreamly rude and greedy, this poor lady passed away and they are being selfish and inconsiderate, do not send them money, sne flowers out of respect for the woman.
Reply:Maybe it%26#039;s just me , but I would have asked what for ? Do what you feel is right !
Reply:Very tacky, I wouldn`t send a thing.
Reply:In my personal opinion I think their a bunch of tacky bitches.
Reply:Send flowers anyway...
Reply:definilty bad news, just send flowers out of respect anyway.
Reply:I have never heard of anyone just asking for cash at a funeral. I have heard people ask for donations to a certain charity instead of flowers. I would say it is tacky and I would send flowers anyway.
Reply:My Goodness! That is so TACKY! In my opinion either send flowers anyway or if your husband%26#039;s grandmother was a religious women have a mass or service said in her name. You can contact the church and ask that your would like a service or mass dedicated to her. Another option is to still take the money you would spend in flowers and still make a donation to a charity in her name. It is what you think your husband%26#039;s grandmother would want, not what her daughters want.
Reply:Ignore them , your right that is extremely tacky!!! I would buy a ridiculous amount of flowers. People are weird when someone dies.

My father-in-law died last Aug and my husbands Grandmother sued us for the last five years worth of things she had bought him ( air conditioner, computer desk, clothes, shower curtain, cleaning supplies ) it all totaled around $ 56,000 no joke! We ended up giving her $40,000. It amazes me how money can %26quot;help%26quot; with the grief of losing a loved one.
Reply:If the daughters are children, and have no other care taker, perhaps they need the money. If they are adults, do what you and your husband want to do. You owe them nothing. It%26#039;s about what you would like to do for your grandmother-in-law now.
Reply:You should send the flowers anyway.
Reply:I agree with you - it IS offensive, crass in the extreme. I%26#039;d send them a bouquet of flowers with a note telling them how I felt about their request and that the flowers were in honour of their dead mother, not them.

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Funeral etiquette?

I was just wondering what proper funeral etiquette is? Do you have to bring flowers to a funeral or can you just show up and then leave when it is over?

Funeral etiquette?
Flowers are usually sent prior to the funeral as a gesture of sympathy and honor. It depends on your relationship to the deceased person or to a family member. It%26#039;s perfectly alright to attend a service and leave, but you might want to speak to a member of the family, etc. Some people attend graveside services after the funeral. A sympathy card is also thoughtful for a friend who has lost a loved one.

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Funeral? Dating 2 months?

I%26#039;ve been dating a girl for about 2 months. Her grandmother died, and they are having the funeral this weekend. I am close to her(as close as one can be after only 2 months). She is not the type to ask me for anything. I doubt that she would ask me to go to the funeral, and has not. I have to work, and she knows that...yet I feel that I should do something for her and her family. Do you think it would be a mistake to send flowers to the funeral? Should I do anything else?

Thanks for your time!

Funeral? Dating 2 months?
Yes, I do think that you should send flowers.

It%26#039;ll show her that you care a lot.

Do It!
Reply:deff, send flowers thats rele sweet
Reply:i think that is a lovely idea :)

u sound like a sweet guys and that is very sweet .

yes for sure send them
Reply:If you really want this relationship to go anywhere, you should take a few hours off of work and respect this girl%26#039;s family by going to the wake, funeral, or at least pass by her home or something. You need to show herthat you can be there for her when she needs some support. She should not have to ask you, you know what is right and what you need to do.

Yes, please send flowers. Send the flowers and put some time aside to at least go to one of farewells to her grandmother. Otherwise, in a few days, you can expect your walking papers. Her family and her will always remember that you did not even come to the funeral to pay your respects.

Now if the event is out of town or a long driving distance and you need to work, and time just does not allow. understandable that you can not attend. pLease send the flowers. Call herto check on her a few times throughout the day, and make sure you explain thatyou wanted to be there to support her but that you just could not.

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J W's no practices with pagan origins? Then why wedding rings, flowers at funerals and embalming of the dead?

There IS Such a Thing as MATURE Christian (BALANCE) !

Nitpicking %26amp; Faultfinding Will (NOT) %26quot;Prevent%26quot; Jehovah%26#039;s CHRISTIAN Witnesses From %26quot;EXCAPING%26quot; the FEARFUL and FIRERY end 2 this %26quot;Wicked System of Things%26quot; !

%26quot;It IS a (FEARFUL) Thing to Fall INTO the HANDS of the LIVING GOD%26quot; ! ! !

J W%26#039;s no practices with pagan origins? Then why wedding rings, flowers at funerals and embalming of the dead?
Good question! I would like to know the answer to that one also.
Reply:Some customs are not religious in origin, some are required by law, others are a sign of respect.

We do our best to follow Jehovah%26#039;s guidance and principles while keeping our conscience clean as we show respect for others.

Read it from our website to get the untainted truth
Reply:You need to quote your sources as to the pagan origin of what you state. Either way, just because a pagan did something does not make it bad, only if it was part of a religious rite.
Reply:Mimicry is indeed the highest form of flattery.
Reply:imitation, like the bible man made...
Reply:That is correct. Furthermore, the idea of bridesmaids is pagan in origin. They were supposed to shield the bride from evil spirits who might seek to harm her on her wedding day. I believe there was some significance to flower girl role as well. yet, JWs use all of these traditions in their marriage ceremonies while, at the same time, condemning people for having Christmas trees. Go figure.

What always gets me is that they are always so condemning of %26quot;pagan%26quot; origins of everything, when the WT org. is so rooted in occult origins, that it isn%26#039;t even funny!

Please share with those of us who don%26#039;t know about the pagan origins of the funeral-related things you mentioned.

%26quot;Genesis. 41:42

2 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph%26#039;s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck

Esther 8:2, 8

2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman%26#039;s estate.

Luke 15:22

22%26quot;But the father said to his servants, %26#039;Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.%26quot;

So are you trying to say that these people were married? This sounds like an advocation of gay marriage then.
Reply:--==Wedding Rings==--

The wedding ring is supposed to be of Roman origin, and to have sprung from the ancient custom of using rings in making agreements.%26quot; (American Cyclop√ɦdia)

It goes back even further, which God allowed his servants to wear rings.

Genesis. 41:42

2 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph%26#039;s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck

Numbers 31:50

50 So we have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired—armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces—to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.%26quot;

Esther 8:2, 8

2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman%26#039;s estate.

Luke 15:22

22%26quot;But the father said to his servants, %26#039;Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.


Flowers are for the family.

--==Embalming of the dead==--

If we were preventing the body from decaying, then it would be embalming the dead.
Reply:Good question! I was just thinking about the subject.

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Grandpa's funeral?

I recently found out that my biological%26#039;s father died last wednesday. I found out before the funeral and visitation. I have not seen my grandfather or grandmother since I was 5 and haven%26#039;t talked to them since I was 13. I have not seen my biological father since I was 8, (I%26#039;m 21 now).

My mom found his obituary online and showed it to me. I wasn%26#039;t mentioned at all, (which I have mixed feelings about...although I haven%26#039;t seen the man in 16 years, I%26#039;m still his granddaughter).

I sent a beautiful spray of flowers to the funeral home with a very nice note with the flowers, but I didn%26#039;t go to the funeral, (as I didn%26#039;t think it would be appropriate).

Do you think I did the right thing? I%26#039;ve been very hostile with this side of the family, (as they have ignored me my entire life), and I put those feelings aside. I would LIKE a thank you, but I am not expecting it.

I just simply want some reassurance.

Thanks :)

Grandpa%26#039;s funeral?
You did the right thing. You did a gracious and kind thing. People who have been unkind or uncaring to you, who have not reached out to you or acknowledged you WERE acknowledged by you during their time of grief. You reached out to them.

You sound like a very fine young lady and like your mother raised you to be sensitive and well-mannered - even to people who have not been kind to you.

I would say don%26#039;t wait for their thanks, but hold your head up, knowing you did something that many, many people would never think to do.

It%26#039;s possible that you%26#039;ll get a thank-you note later (it took me a few weeks to write to all the people who went to my mother%26#039;s funeral or sent flowers or a donation in her name). But don%26#039;t wait for it.

When you do something fine and good - which you have done - you build your own character into someone fine and good. You don%26#039;t need thanks. You didn%26#039;t do it to be thanked, acknowledged, praised or recognized. You did it because it was kind and right. Virtue is its own reward.

I think you should say %26#039;thank you%26#039; to someone else instead: to your mother, for raising you to be someone as sensitive and gracious as you are!
Reply:Yes, I think sending a flower spray was very appropriate for the situation. Going to the funeral may have been uncomfortable for both you and the family, but you still expressed your sympathy and thoughts by sending flowers.

I%26#039;m sorry for your loss, and hope you find a thank you in the mail soon! What you did was classy and thoughtful.
Reply:You did the right thing. Sending flowers and a note was fine. I agree with you about the Thank You. Don%26#039;t hold your breath. But, know that in your heart, you sent flowers and a note of sympathy.That is generous considering your past history with the family.

I am sorry for your loss.
Reply:Since you did not feel welcomed by that side of the family, and you were not personally notified of the funeral your attendance was not expected. Sending a bouquet and a note is a very nice and appropriate sign of sympathy.
Reply:Yes, you definitely did the right thing. It has to have been hurtful that you weren%26#039;t mentioned in the obituary, but you%26#039;ve shown more class than the rest of the family has.
Reply:You handled it beautifully. A thank you is in order, but if you do not receive one, don%26#039;t be surprised. Who ever put the obit in the paper should be ashamed to exclude you. I am sorry for your loss.
Reply:Sorry for your loss. I admire you for taking the high road. Don%26#039;t worry about getting a thank you from them...if it comes, great, but if not, please know that we who have posted here are grateful that you did the right thing.
Reply:Yes, you showed true dignity by sending the flowers. You can never go wrong by taking the high road. Sounds like you%26#039;ve grown up to be a wonderful person with out them!
Reply:It is ok. Your absence wasn%26#039;t going to surprise anyone, and it could not have changed anything.
Reply:That was very nice of you to send flowers. I often do not receive an acknowledgement for what I send in memory of a person, depending on who the survivors are. Sometimes they are too bereft and/or do not know the protocol of sending thank you acknowledgements, either printed or written by hand. So dont be measuring anything by whether you recieve a thank you ( although it is proper to send one) The dynamics of your family situation are hard on everyone and you probably do not know all of the details of who said and did what in the past . But you seem to be rising above it all and are willing to move past %26#039; the past%26#039; and start today with what time is left. Since after all, soon it will be you and all of us who are going to be dead. I salute your putting the feelings of hostility aside as they only eat away at one. It is good you formulate your OWN relationship with your grandparents and perhaps in a week or so call them and say you are thinking of them and is there anything they need. I wouldnt involve your mother in this at all. She has her own experience and needs in this but yours should be separate. Maybe you will be able to see them.I wouldnt mention about why you didnt attend or that you didnt attend the service, since that is over with and does not need to be made an issue of.
Reply:I think what you did was fine. As for the thank you, it%26#039;s the right thing for them to do, but I hope you didn%26#039;t send the flowers expecting it. Don%26#039;t get upset if it doesn%26#039;t come; they haven%26#039;t done the right thing so far.

That being said, maybe this is a good time to reach out and try to make peace. Sending those flowers was a good start, maybe you could follow it up with a phone call. By rights, it should come from them, but you can choose to be the grown up here and make the first couple of steps, if you want to. I had almost n contact with my Dad or his side of the family when I was younger, but started to interact with them a little bit here and there once I turned 18. It%26#039;s hard, there are a lot of hurt feelings on my part, but I really want to make this work for my own sake, so I%26#039;m trying.

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Where did the tradition of sending flowers at funerals arise from?

The Egyptians. They aromafied the air for the deceased and also burned scented oils. Hail the Lotus Flower... For it was the first to be reconise as a sacred plant!

Where did the tradition of sending flowers at funerals arise from?
the roman goddess flora. the greeks started the whole thing from there myths and legends
Reply:Flower pollens have been unearthed in almost every ancient grave that has been the answer is, people have been putting flowers on graves from a time well before any records have survived. Its a gesture of hope in a rebirth. Plants dies every year in winter adn are reborn again in spring...a powerful idea to primitive man.
Reply:I dont know but a lot of countries bury there dead the same day
Reply:Plants and flowers are symbols of life. They are given with the hope that the deceased will find a new life in the next world.
Reply:It%26#039;s only a tradition, on significance at all.
Reply:I believe it was to cover the smell of the dead. I don%26#039;t know who started it.
Reply:Archeologists are always digging up graves where flowers were buried with the person. Even the very primitive people, before actual recorded history, did this. So I guess it%26#039;s something that just %26quot;stuck%26quot; with people.
Reply:I think it%26#039;s just are sweet smelling, and considered very..wonderful. So it%26#039;s like, if you love someone, you send them flowers. Even if they%26#039;re;s a respect/love thing. At least, that%26#039;s my guess.

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