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Author Topic: Non believer funerals.  (Read 1082 times)
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roy1967
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« on: July 21, 2011, 10:37:29 AM »

Did a quick search to see if this had been a topic before.

What is the general funeral method for atheists when they die?  I mean, most people have a pastor or priest preside over the ceremony.

The reason I ask (other than I don't know) is because my dad passed this summer, and while I know he was a believer, he was not fond of the organized church, he was more of a casual believer.

My brother had a pastor do the service (one from his own church) who had known my dad for a small amount of time, and although the service was very nice, he made dad sound like a serious believer with a deep conviction.  Not him at all.

Do we as non-believers have funeral services at the mortuary? Only have friends speak?  Do we have friends who are pastors do it?

I know there is no one answer....  but if I were to die today, I'm pretty sure my family would have my funeral performed by a pastor...... despite knowing my lack of belief, because they wouldn't know what else to do.

My wife and I are going to start planning for the inevitible, and I have no idea where to start with this subject.  Any helpful ideas?
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OldGit
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 11:26:36 AM »

I am in my sixties and tick pretty well every box for an early heart attack.  Therefore I have given strict instructions that there be no religion at my funeral: in particular, no mention of a god or any kind of afterlife.  Also those present will be requested not to pray for me, on the grounds that it can't affect a person who no longer exists, but degrades those who take part in mumbo-jumbo - whatever delusions they may entertain about the matter.
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 11:31:45 AM »

In the UK I would look here http://www.humanism.org.uk/ceremonies

Not sure what one would do in the US though?
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 11:36:46 AM »

My family is religious and most of the funerals I've been to (there've been quite a few), are conducted by the family.

There is singing, some people talk about the deceased, at least one person recites a poem and there is at least one prayer. A religious leader rarely ever speaks and in most cases when they do, they were friends with the deceased.

I personally don't want a funeral: burn me, dump my ashes in the trash and be done with it. However there are members of my family that want to have their greiving so since I'll be dead and not able to care, they can do what they want with my corpse.
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 04:47:26 PM »

I like what you said, Oldgit. Prayer is so pointless.  Undecided


As for me, I want a giant celebration. Maybe a viking type funeral. Lay me down, set me on fire, and drink lots of wine. Laugh, be happy! Celebrate life <3
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Wiggum:"You have that much faith in me, Homer?"
Homer:"No! Faith is what you have in things that don't exist. Your awesomeness is real."

“I was thinking that perhaps this thing called God does not exist. Because He cannot save any one of us. No matter how we pray, He doesn’t mend our wounds. No matter how we plead, He doesn’t strike down our enemies. There hasn’t been an instance where He has cured our sick. Powerless, we can only wait to be tossed onto the dirt of a foreign land. He doesn’t have a thread of spiritual existence. If only there were a shadow, a whisper. But I haven’t felt Him once.”
—    稲荷家房之介 - Giglio
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2011, 05:15:44 PM »

I'd like a very Hispanic funeral. We get mariachis playing, music going and great foods. It's a fiesta of sorts (though sad) enough booze gets those reminiscing about the deceased. But in all likely hood I will be getting a Muslim funeral. I'll get cleaned and wrapped and put in the family tomb. I did specifiy with my future husband I would like to be buried like a mummy with our cats...you know..while in Egypt do as the Egyptians do!  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 08:17:05 PM »

I like the aphorism that funerals are for the living not the dead.
My death is bound to be a very sad occasion with loud lamenting and gnashing of teeth, (can you lament loudly whilst gnashing?) my preference would be to sell my remains for medical experiments.  If my family feels the need to resort to woo when faced with my tragic passing, well I can't fault them for it.  I won't fault them for it 'cause I'll be dead.
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Sweetdeath
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 09:03:49 PM »

I agree, Magic pudding. Funerals are definitely more for the living. I guess a greiving process?

Anyway, since I don't believe in human or hell, I could care less.   I actualy read a book about a woman who flatlined for 5minutes in a hospital. She said she saw God and went to heaven. Everyone wore robes and giant flowers existed. I couldn't stop laughing. "God" gave her a choice to remain in heaven or return to her husband and kids. She chose her family.

Replace God with Red queen and you got a fairy tale. People make me face palm so hard.

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Law 35- "You got to go with what works." - Robin Lefler

Wiggum:"You have that much faith in me, Homer?"
Homer:"No! Faith is what you have in things that don't exist. Your awesomeness is real."

“I was thinking that perhaps this thing called God does not exist. Because He cannot save any one of us. No matter how we pray, He doesn’t mend our wounds. No matter how we plead, He doesn’t strike down our enemies. There hasn’t been an instance where He has cured our sick. Powerless, we can only wait to be tossed onto the dirt of a foreign land. He doesn’t have a thread of spiritual existence. If only there were a shadow, a whisper. But I haven’t felt Him once.”
—    稲荷家房之介 - Giglio
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2011, 01:44:43 AM »

I think I might go for a Ferengy style funeral where I get cremated and then sell my ashes off in small portions with the proceeds going to charity.
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 02:52:12 AM »

I think I might go for a Ferengy style funeral where I get cremated and then sell my ashes off in small portions with the proceeds going to charity.

Charity?
It doesn't sound like you have the lobes to be a Ferengi.
I refer you to rule 144 of The Rules of Acquisition
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There's nothing wrong with charity...as long as it winds up in your pocket.
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Tank
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 03:24:18 AM »

I think I might go for a Ferengy style funeral where I get cremated and then sell my ashes off in small portions with the proceeds going to charity.

Charity?
It doesn't sound like you have the lobes to be a Ferengi.
I refer you to rule 144 of The Rules of Acquisition
Quote
There's nothing wrong with charity...as long as it winds up in your pocket.
But I'd be dead so I wouldn't have any pockets Cheesy
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If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
At 50 it only takes a cheesecake to fuck you over.
fester30
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 03:45:25 AM »

I don't care.  I'll be dead, so it won't matter.  Whatever my loved ones need to feel better about their day, I guess.
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 06:17:50 AM »

This is  so raw for me I am not sure I should be in this thread before work today...I will say honestly I came to this forum because...of a personal deep loss and I am so lonely in it!...my family ( my center for reality and common sense are so spread out that while we try with visits phone calls ect...

Death is hard for us (athiests in general) not my own ..I am ok with my own  ...but the agony of loosing part of you...
But that id a digress and I am sorry tjis is about funeral not grief (but how do we have one with out the other?) ...

For myself I want nothing just spread my ashes where they will do some good to help something grow...for my very painful loss...I still do not know what to do because the grief has stopped me/us cold so we have saved them...no service...no nothing ....figurative limbo ...
Everyone will give you opinions but so far my family says " give yourself time" (it has been a couple of years..so I think "time" has passed...I am reassured by folks who say "there is no time limit to grief of this nature" ) friend make tons of suggestions...but they are faith based...on friend had a Mass said...wow as kind as I know she was being this is the LAST thing he would have wanted..

I think  it is lonely out here being a logical person who believes the end is the end and the only life after is if our ashes fertilize a tree and it grows as a result...

I have no answers for the funeral for an athiest because I am dealing with it myself ..but it is very validating to have a place to talk about it.

My father has asked for an obituary that sound like his CV LOL...he has quite a CV so that will cost the price of a funeral! ..he wants no service...just the obit..I am grateful he expressed this ....

I hope this post makes sense...Work has kicked my bloody ass this week... in life it is good to feel validated... ( I feel validated here in these conversations and threads I am reading). I think for athiests a great obit is a wonderful way of honoring the passing of a loved one...and a gathering to take joy in the time you had with them..as well as a chance to gather with others of common thoughts...but that is hard when you are such a severe minority ..to gather with kindreds for such an emotional event

Thank you
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Sweetdeath
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 08:57:02 AM »


I think I might go for a Ferengy style funeral where I get cremated and then sell my ashes off in small portions with the proceeds going to charity.

Charity?
It doesn't sound like you have the lobes to be a Ferengi.
I refer you to rule 144 of The Rules of Acquisition
Quote
There's nothing wrong with charity...as long as it winds up in your pocket.

I love you guys for talking about Ferengi and star trek. The nerd in me flails with joy. XD <3
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Law 35- "You got to go with what works." - Robin Lefler

Wiggum:"You have that much faith in me, Homer?"
Homer:"No! Faith is what you have in things that don't exist. Your awesomeness is real."

“I was thinking that perhaps this thing called God does not exist. Because He cannot save any one of us. No matter how we pray, He doesn’t mend our wounds. No matter how we plead, He doesn’t strike down our enemies. There hasn’t been an instance where He has cured our sick. Powerless, we can only wait to be tossed onto the dirt of a foreign land. He doesn’t have a thread of spiritual existence. If only there were a shadow, a whisper. But I haven’t felt Him once.”
—    稲荷家房之介 - Giglio
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 10:28:02 PM »

Technically, I shouldn't care. But what I want is this:

To be buried next to my brother, and a message of departure to be read to the grieving at the funeral. The message will be written by me. I want the be buried in the same cemetary where my brother is, next to El Carment Church. And I want Mexican Heather to be planted around my grave.

That's pretty much it.
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