How Do Atheists Perform Their Funeral Ceremonies? Do Religious Friends And Relatives Abscond?
I Would Imagine Since There Are No Religious Ceremonies To Be Performed, The Whole Funeral Process Can Take Just A Few Minutes And They Are Done.
Well, when my mother died she had not wanted a funeral. So, we had a party and invited friends and family to celebrate her life. She was cremated.and we took her ashes back to her home in Scotland and scattered them with my father's ashes.
The desire to celebrate a life, say goodbye to someone we have lost, and the process of mourning, are not exclusive desires for people of any one religion. There are a lot of different ways of doing all of these things, both religious, and non-religious.
There is no reason a funeral can't be respectful of the different ways that people may do these things. There is no reason people can't take comfort in the mutual process even if it is done in slightly different ways.
I myself will be donating my remains to medical science. The family can pay for shipping if they want my remains back. Not likely, lol. If those who knew me want to have a get together that is up to them. A lot of people consider the funeral to be a place to show respect to the deceased. It seems to make more sense to me to show this respect while they're still alive. I believe I have found a way to beat the high cost of dying as a bonus.
why would you think that. death isn't about god, it's about the life the person lived and what people felt and saw in them. for me, when i go to a funeral, i think of all the things the person did while they were alive and remember these things. i don't pray for them but instead i remember.
Aren't funeral ceremonies for all the people left behind? It doesn't matter what people believe, just that they pay their own respects and remember the deceased in their own way.
The strangest, but best, funeral I have been to was for my grandfather. The family held a big garden party to celebrate his life, as he hated people to be sad! I thought it was a wonderful way to be remembered.
It never just takes a few minutes to get over losing someone. I would think this is even more true with Atheists, who mat not believe that the person has gone to a better place. But, on the opposite side of the scale is Buddhism, where I have seen people lose someone close and be fine in a day or two, because they believe that person will be back again ... hence death isn't so serious, just another step of life's circle (or circles)
There are some great answers here already. I have seen examples of all of them.
In the end funerals are for the living. Many people have this way of making them morbid and depressing.
I don't know anyone who wants their loved ones to feel horrible. Though for some reason we all expect those close to us to mourn us in such a way that their lives are altered for the worse.
The Atheists that I know do a better job at letting go but none of them show disregard for a great person. In contrast, all of the Atheists I know who have died, have had their families fight over their body because the religious ones wanted the body treated in the manner appropriate to their own religion.
I don't think that funeral ceremonies have anything to do with religion...they are more about the person that has passed on whether it be to the afterlife or just not here anymore. Its about family, friends and loved ones getting together to remember the great time with that person and and helping those closest grieve. If they choose to do so with a mass or religious gathering that's their choice but I hardly think that religion has ANYTHING to do with a funeral service.
If I were to die tomorrow, I would hope that my friends and family would have a simple get-together to remember my life and scatter my ashes. There would be no need for prayer or hymns or religious texts-- things that I don't believe in. The way I see it, a person's religious (or non-religious) beliefs shouldn't matter to a true friend. After all, the whole point of a funeral or memorial service is to remember that person and their life-- and to honor their memory.
I'm an atheist. When I die, I want my family and friends to have a party at my house and celebrate my life. I want people to drink, eat, laugh and cry. I'm going to be cremated and my ashes spread into the Gulf of Mexico, one of my favorite places on the planet. That way I will be food for the fishes and complete my circle of life.
Why would religious friends and relatives abscond? That's a ridiculous part of your question. Are religious people not allowed to participate in ceremonies that don't apply to their beliefs? Is this question meant as some type of sarcastic joke? Or is this serious?
I don't know, as all of the many funerals I have attended have been religious, even though most of the people being buried or cremated have not been religious believers in life. I think it is just traditional to have a vicar conduct the service, even at the funeral of atheists. As an atheist, I don't care who conducts my funeral as I don't intend to be there when it happens.
I think the funeral ceremony serves more of a functional role for the family and loved ones of the deceased person. I think rather then some sort of a "rite" that initiates the journey of the dead to nirvana or heaven or where ever, a funeral ceremony is more of a mechanism to help the family and loved ones cope with their loss. This is why all cultures practice some sort of funerary ceremony even though the ultimate fate of the deceased varies across cultures and belief systems.
Everyone has their own form of faith. One young woman I had in a college class did not call herself and atheist, but that she was spiritual not religious. That girl was remarkable. I wish more of us were like her.
As to a funeral, whether atheist or one of another faith than mine, if I had love and respect for that family, I would be their to support them and pay my respects.
It is not for me to judge their faith.
Since not all religions are theistic, it follows that not all atheists are irreligious.
It may sound as if I'm splitting logical hairs, but I'm a Unitarian Universalist, and we have members who are in fact self-described atheists.
They may not believe in a God as most people do, but they still seek meaning in life, still seek to live ethically, and seek value in relationships with others. UU congregations tend to be seen as welcoming places for atheists, as we do not impose any particular dogma upon members--their spiritual search is their own, and we affirm its value even if that search involves an individual's conclusion that God does not exist.
Lest any readers think that means that "anything goes" among UUs, we do have points of agreement. Specifically, UUs covenant to "affirm" 7 Principles. I won't go through them--you can Google them, I'm sure--but essentially they are values statements, and directed more (IMO) to what we *do* than to what we *think.*
I'm an atheist and my body will be left for scientific research. Hopefully they'll find some use for it!!!
The short answer (for me at least) is that I can't perform my funeral after I am dead. I would like for my family and friends, however, to donate my organs (I am a registered donor) and cremate the remains. After that, they can do whatever they wish with them.
I understand that funerals give people closure, but funerals are about the living, not the dead. The person in the casket or the urn has lost the ability to care about the ceremony, and so it exists as a way for remaining friends and family to pay tribute to their life and hope that he/she went to a better place.
SO do what you want with my remains, I won't care. My mother is a Christian, and she's going to want a funeral. I will have one for her when she does pass, but it will be simply because it is the final thing I can do for her in accordance with her wishes, and not out of any spiritual belief.
While we're on it, where did anyone ever get the idea that a funeral was a prerequisite for getting into heaven, or even a necessary event? What does the interment of the decaying physical form (which has obviously failed) have to do with the passage of an immortal soul?
Funerals are for the living, not the dead. The latter are out of it....they have lost all consciousness, do not exist, never will again.
For the living, to express grief, relate stories, share memories with others, is a wonderful way to help in the healing process of letting go.
Each culture and society has it's own traditional ceremonies and ways of doing this.
The mutual partaking in those ceremonies helps to form family and community bonds, and to share in the sadness..... but also in the joy and gratitude. This is where family folk-lore has its beginning and continuation across the generations.
So....religious people, please don't hug all the goodies for yourselves. We atheists have a very down-to-earth approach, mostly.
I have only ever attended three funerals - well cremations actually - and all the persons involved were Christians (both my parents and my uncle), so I wouldn't really know.
I have said many times though that when my time comes, I do not want a funeral at all. It strikes me as an exercise in spending a lot of money that could be put to better use (given to charities for people or animals that are living, for example). Give my body to medical science, let the students find out some useful information, maybe.
I will anyway know nothing about it as all awareness will have gone, and, as an atheist, I regard life as precious as it is all that we will have. Better make life better than concern ourselves unduly with what is already past.
I expect though that my wife will think differently, and there will be a funeral of sorts - she is a devout Buddhist, so a Buddhist send-off may suit her.
I have very specific wishes. NO religious talk at all. No better place. No, we'll see him again. I want a celebration! I want as many people as possible to get together and tell stories and share laughs about the good times we had.
When I go to funerals, I do my best not to roll my eyes. I had a great uncle that passed away and the Southern Baptist pastor soon turned a lovely story about my uncle's seat in church to a fire and brimstone call for repentance. I was not amused!
It was hard when my mother died and she was very strong in her beliefs and my family does not know that I have chosen a new path. I had to endure the hundreds of "She's with her heavenly father now" and "God called her home." I just smiled and nodded. The one thing I insisted to my dad and brother was that there would be no talk of hell at the service. I would not tolerate spoiling the celebration of her life into a guilt trip to salvation.
Needless to say, I don't like funerals much. I don't like weddings either but that's a whole different story LOL!!
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