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Source: (consider it) Thread: Celebratory funerals
John3000
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Apologies if this has been discussed here already but I thought I would share this video of Ghanaian pall-bearers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvHhmGcFGnQ

I remember clearly the cold dread that came over me when the solemn undertakers entered the church carrying my father's coffin, me not having seen him or his body since he was alive and well.

I am just ruminating on the subject of funerals and wonder if anyone finds the celebrations in the video disrespectful?

Personally I think it's wonderful. I suppose one mustn't view it as celebrating the fact that the deceased is no longer with us(!), but rather as celebration of their life and that they are now moving on into the hands of God. Not sure how I'd feel about it if it were my nearest and dearest though.

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Stetson
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# 9597

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Logically, I can understand the reasons for viewing a funeral as the "celebration of a life".

On a gut/aesthetic level, however, it seems somewhere in the vicinity of a clergyman peppering his sermon with the current "cool" street slang, to show how down with the kids he is.

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Wow.

Whatever else, you have to admire their grace, and skill!

I helped carry the coffin of a young cousin of mine into the crematorium, and believe you me, it's not as easy as it looks.

As to respect, well, what is acceptable in the culture of Ghana might possibly not be so acceptable in parts of Ukland....

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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It's just a different culture, that's all.

I'm impressed that the pall-bearers have the strength to dance and carry a coffin at the same time. I thought those things were supposed to be heavy!

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I think it's been noted elsewhere that funerals are highly cultural and locale-dependent. What we do here is not what you might do three townships over. The range of practices is immense; you can find examples of just about anything you can imagine.
There's somebody, in California naturally, who has a business conducting Viking funerals. Yes, you too can be laid into a wooden boat, shoved out to sea at sunset, and set on fire while your family stands on the beach and toasts you with mead. There's also somebody out there who will, for a substantial price, mummify you -- remove the viscera, steep you in natron, wrap you in linen bands. I am told that there is a slight upcharge to add in your pets.
Haven't heard whether the church participates in these interments (there's nothing specifically unChristian about them) but I kind of think not.

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Jengie jon

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# 273

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Given that it is Ghana, then there is a good chance that that is a Presbyterian funeral!!! [Eek!]


Jengie

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sabine
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# 3861

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The video in the op comes from a completely different culture, so what seems appropriate to them may well not seem appropriate to a person not from that culture. I'm glad John3000 enjoyed it. It seems like something that might brighten the day of a bereaved person.

Traditional New Orleans funeral customs often include a jazz band parade, starting off with a dirge and then sweeping into something celebratory. See here for an example

Among Friends, the memorial is typically a remembrance of good/funny/bittersweet times with the departed.

We held my brother's memorial at a Holiday Inn because the funeral home could not accommodate the number of people who wanted to attend. We put his iPod on a speaker and played all his music (rock, jazz, whatever) during the memorial. It was a college game day, and the Holiday Inn was full of people from the out of town team, tailgating in the parking lot. We liked this and laughed that my brother would have loved to have had a tailgate memorial.

My personal feeling is that the memorial should benefit those who are grieving and the style should be chosen by them. This will be different for different groups of people. Other family members of mine have had somber church funerals for their loved ones, and that seemed fine, too.


sabine

[ 06. December 2017, 16:08: Message edited by: sabine ]

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John Holding

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# 158

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Logically, I can understand the reasons for viewing a funeral as the "celebration of a life".

On a gut/aesthetic level, however, it seems somewhere in the vicinity of a clergyman peppering his sermon with the current "cool" street slang, to show how down with the kids he is.

Well, if s/he were addressing a group of people who habitually use such language, that would be perfectly appropriate. If s/he is talking to a bunch of the usual suspects -- over 60 -- then not so much. (Always assuming that s/he actually knows the language and can use it correctly, of course).

John

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Bishops Finger
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SvitlanaV2 said:
quote:
I'm impressed that the pall-bearers have the strength to dance and carry a coffin at the same time. I thought those things were supposed to be heavy!
As I implied in my post immediately before that, I found by personal experience that that is indeed the case.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Logically, I can understand the reasons for viewing a funeral as the "celebration of a life".

On a gut/aesthetic level, however, it seems somewhere in the vicinity of a clergyman peppering his sermon with the current "cool" street slang, to show how down with the kids he is.

Well, if s/he were addressing a group of people who habitually use such language, that would be perfectly appropriate. If s/he is talking to a bunch of the usual suspects -- over 60 -- then not so much. (Always assuming that s/he actually knows the language and can use it correctly, of course).

John

Even in front of a youthful audience, I think the criterion would be how natural such language is to the speaker. Basically, if it is in any way calculated to make the audience think "Wow, this old guy isn't as much of a dork as I thought", it's a groaner for me.

But if it is the way he is always accustomed to speaking whenever in the presence of a certain age group, it's fine. There'd be no reason for him to do otherwise, in fact.

And yes, your "know the lingo and how to use it" would probably cover most cases in my second paragraph, but there are still situations where the speaker could be well-versed, but still unnatural.

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Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
Traditional New Orleans funeral customs often include a jazz band parade, starting off with a dirge and then sweeping into something celebratory. See here for an example.

A traditional New Orleans funeral was the first thing I thought of seeing this thread.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Logically, I can understand the reasons for viewing a funeral as the "celebration of a life".

On a gut/aesthetic level, however, it seems somewhere in the vicinity of a clergyman peppering his sermon with the current "cool" street slang, to show how down with the kids he is.

Well, if s/he were addressing a group of people who habitually use such language, that would be perfectly appropriate. If s/he is talking to a bunch of the usual suspects -- over 60 -- then not so much. (Always assuming that s/he actually knows the language and can use it correctly, of course).

John

Even in front of a youthful audience, I think the criterion would be how natural such language is to the speaker. Basically, if it is in any way calculated to make the audience think "Wow, this old guy isn't as much of a dork as I thought", it's a groaner for me.

But if it is the way he is always accustomed to speaking whenever in the presence of a certain age group, it's fine. There'd be no reason for him to do otherwise, in fact.

And yes, your "know the lingo and how to use it" would probably cover most cases in my second paragraph, but there are still situations where the speaker could be well-versed, but still unnatural.

And even beyond that, there's the matter of what language is appropriate in different contexts. Most of us wouldn't go full-on slang in a sermon no matter how naturally we speak it outside the pulpit.

None of which is all that terribly relevant to the video in the OP, of course. Even on the gut/aesthetic level, what seems appropriate in a funeral is going to be determined largely by one's culture (the intersections between the larger culture, one's religion, socioeconomic class, etc.), just like what kind of language is appropriate in a sermon will similarly vary.

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Enoch
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# 14322

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I was at a funeral at a crem a few years ago - a secular one, I might add - where at the end a jazz number was played and the widow danced out to it. I know it was meant to say, 'pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again', but it looked like 'thank goodness he's gone'.

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
Traditional New Orleans funeral customs often include a jazz band parade, starting off with a dirge and then sweeping into something celebratory.

I have heard that sometimes on the way back from the cemetery, they sing a song with words something like, "I'm glad you're gone, you old rascal you."

Moo

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Pigwidgeon

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# 10192

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I attended a very traditional church funeral for a dear older woman several years ago. The music was provided by a family friend, playing the piano. I don't remember what he played before and during the service, something traditional I believe. But as everyone was leaving the church he played "Put on a Happy Face." I loved it, knowing that my dear friend must have requested it. It was perfect for her.

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Galloping Granny
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Some years ago now, a new style of movie on a very wide screen circulated a 'sampler' of scenes that looked extra effective on the huge screen. One was a funeral procession in New Orleans. It was tremendously exciting, and made one want to get up and dance, The band was playing 'When the saints go marching in'.
As a style of funeral, I guess my reaction was.'Well, why not?'

GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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Augustine the Aleut
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I have spoken to the Incumbent of my parish of how it would be nice if the little casket containing my ashes would be preceded by nymphs scattering rose petals, to which he responded that it would only be possible if they were regular attenders at evensong.
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Palimpsest
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When I watched the last papal funeral I was struck by what is apparently a Roman tradition; applause for the deceaded.
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Ian Climacus

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Not my style, but when in Ghana...

I have attended one "happy" funeral here. Sad to say it did not sit well with me, but I know that to be my issue alone [if I had funds I'd dress like this most days]. The nearest and dearest seemed to get much from it, so a good thing.

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georgiaboy
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I was at a funeral at a crem a few years ago - a secular one, I might add - where at the end a jazz number was played and the widow danced out to it. I know it was meant to say, 'pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again', but it looked like 'thank goodness he's gone'.

This calls for a singing of Coward's 'In a Bar on the Piccola Marina'
(A performance of this by Dame Felicity Lott may be found on YouTube.)

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Pigwidgeon

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# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by georgiaboy:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I was at a funeral at a crem a few years ago - a secular one, I might add - where at the end a jazz number was played and the widow danced out to it. I know it was meant to say, 'pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again', but it looked like 'thank goodness he's gone'.

This calls for a singing of Coward's 'In a Bar on the Piccola Marina'
(A performance of this by Dame Felicity Lott may be found on YouTube.)

Not familiar with that piece (I'll Google it), but I've met Dame Felicity -- she's a delight!

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Boogie

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Hmmmmm ...

It just reminded me of Terry Pratchett’s Luggage 🤔🙄

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rufiki

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# 11165

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I have heard that sometimes on the way back from the cemetery, they sing a song with words something like, "I'm glad you're gone, you old rascal you."

Moo

I attended a secular funeral earlier this year at which the invitation to the wake was something like “come and raise a glass to the old bugger”. Gentle piss-taking had been the tone of the whole service. It’s what the widow and daughter wanted, and it felt right for this particular chap. Each to their own I say.
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Og, King of Bashan

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# 9562

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There is a whole group of artists and funeral industry folks here in the States who have gotten together to form something called the Order of the Good Death.

The basic idea is that we essentially have a one-size-fits-all funeral industry, which sanitizes death, and isn't really in line with what lots of people want from a memorial service. By educating people about practices and options, they hope to turn funerals into something that you can really personalize to the desires of the individual.

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Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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quote:
Originally posted by georgiaboy:
This calls for a singing of Coward's 'In a Bar on the Piccola Marina'
(A performance of this by Dame Felicity Lott may be found on YouTube.)

And here is Dame Flott, in a spirited and delightful performance of the tune.

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Laud-able

Ship's Ancient
# 9896

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At the funeral of one my friends, held at St Paul's, Covent Garden (the actors' church), his partner arranged for the music of the procession out to segue into Coward's 'I'll see you again'.

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'. . . "Non Angli, sed Angeli" "not Angels, but Anglicans"', Sellar, W C, and Yeatman, R J, 1066 and All That, London, 1930, p. 6.

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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A few years ago I attended the funeral of a colleague where the proceedings, which featured very carefully chose hymns, ended with a trumpet rendition of Luiz Bonfá's Manhã de Carnaval from the film Black Orpheus, which caused smiles among a few of us who knew of his excursions into Rio nightlife.
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