How important to you is the prayer and pomp of a funeral?

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Questions below, but first ….

Trisha from over at Learning Life and l have been engaged in a conversation following on from my Dear Blog – 19.58 – 28/08/21 and we have been recently discussing the formalities of the funeral ceremony.

My father wanted a very formal funeral, but not with any religious bent to it despite the fact that he was by birth a Roman Catholic. He was simply not religious at all – also he wanted a no frills attached affair, BUT he wanted those attending to wear blacks and greys to pay forwards their last wishes. He was cremated and my sister has his ashes. He didn’t have a formal wake, it was a spread at a pub.

My mother wants also a no frills funeral but wants everyone to wear bright colours to celebrate her life rather than my father’s wish for everyone to celebrate his death. She also wishes to be cremated and her ashes to be scattered.

For me, l am not fussed what happens – for sure a no frill affair, l would be as happy being burnt to a crisp and scattered as l would be if l was planted into the ground to come back as a tree or better still dump me into the local compost for the worms to feast upon. Death is death and l am not going to be there to see if people attended or not and in truth, l am not really that bothered about the fact of whether people are there or not. Celebrate my life with me when l am alive and when l am gone l am gone. Remember me as l was when l was alive. But that’s is just me, l’ll not be alone in those perhaps morbid albeit realistic thoughts as others will think like me anyhow also.

Trisha would like a very private but formal affair. Her death and her very final moments she is protective of – l can relate to that to a certain degree, although l view it from a different slant, Trisha views it from the respectful and loving side of her family. She has very specific requirements musically and graveside adornments and dress code – but it would not be a large affair – it would be personal, closed and private and protected.

Now l am not trying to be morbid or ghoulish here, but l found our conversation to be incredibly fascinating – because everyone has a very different approach to the final day and the formalities attached to that day. But what l have found to be the case in the last five or ten years or so is the decline in formal funerals as opposed to the rise of the no frills service. More and more people are opting to shun the more traditional formal funeral and seeking out alternatives that are also less costly, because let’s face it and be honest – the whole process is expensive and stressful, never mind those who are overwhelmed with the grief factor.

Planning and organising a funeral is a huge ahem, undertaking – flowers, plans, music, catering, people, caskets – the list is endless. I remember working with my sister after my father’s passing and although he wanted a so called private and quiet affair – the reality was that he wanted a huge showering!

Anyway, let me know below the views to the following questions …. although if you find this subject matter too personal, please don’t feel like you are obligated to answer it. It’s not being asked to offend you.

The Questions

How important to you is the prayer and pomp of a funeral or indeed your funeral?

Are you likely to opt for a more traditional plan or a new alternative no frills option?

Would you wish for those attending to dress formally or casually, smart casual – would you be offended by jeans and sneakers?

Let me know below. Thanks.

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44 thoughts on “How important to you is the prayer and pomp of a funeral?

  1. I had this idea once of being cremated (after I die) and my ashes put in an “I Dream of Jeannie” urn. But that would likely be a burden to my daughters, so now I wish them to do whatever is easiest and brings them the most peace/closure. I’m not going to know at that point, so what difference does it make?

    1. Well thank goodness Paula, you have emphasized the need to be dead before cremation, because that might become a tad hot under the collar for you on the day 🙂

      Good choices, making it easier for the family.

  2. I’ve got the paperwork to donate my body. I don’t want my girls to even have to pay for cremation.
    I’ve told them I’d like them to have a drunken party to laugh and cry with whoever wants to be there.

    I agree with you, I don’t care what happens after, but I DO believe that the ceremony of gathering to share grief is helpful for the bereaved. It doesn’t need to be a formal thing, or expensive… make it potluck & BYOB🤷🏼‍♀️ but, yes definitely gather with others and share stories and laughter and tears. No dress code, no requirements.

      1. Yes. I think it is helpful for people to be there for each other.
        Plus, any excuse to have fun😉
        My girls are both more into being social than I am. I’m thinking about them.
        As for me… don’t care, won’t be here. Or will I???👻

        1. …………. yes that sounds like you.

          Strangely enough though – hauntings do exist on so many levels.

          My father haunted me for years whilst he was alive and yet when he died l allowed him to haunt me for a while until l let him go.

          The funeral for me doesn’t signify closure, just that something has ended, we are ultimately responsible for how our memories interact with us.

  3. Funerals are for the living not the dead, a form of closure I suppose. The tradition amongst people of my ilk was 3 days of viewing in a funeral home, open casket. It’s just creepy sitting there staring at a dead body for 3 days. Plus the cloying, nauseating smell of flowers and formaldehyde. In a perfect world, as soon as I die they would cart the carcasse off to the crematorium, the ashes would be be put in a lucite cube and somebody would keep it on the ir coffee table and say “Yeah, that’s crazy Grace, she was a hoot.” But first someone would organize a party, lots of music, food and drink and laughs with my ashes in the center of it all…Yeah, and a good time would be had by all!

      1. Celebrate a life…mine, theirs, who cares. I prefer laughter to tears. Ain’t nobody gonna cry when I’m gone, not even me.

  4. What an interesting set of questions Rory. For Muslims, the funeral is a simple affair, at least in my country. We are buried the same day, preferably in the traditional manner. No pomp or show. There are some religious rituals that are a part of our culture, like recitation of the holy Quran, or a meal served to any of those who linger on after the burial. Mostly the near family, and the poor people around would be those who partake of it. There has never been a funeral that I attended here where people “dressed “ according to the deceased’s wishes. They come as they like. And of course there’s no music! Quiet a somber affair.

      1. It is! Luckily, we don’t have any pomp and show attached to dying in our religion. Only if someone very important dies, people will gather in huge numbers to pray for the departed soul.

        1. I find it fascinating in truth, with religion as it is and then when death arrives very little religion surrounds it aside from the brief readings – l like that 🙂

  5. As an atheist, I believe that I will no longer exist in any form after my death. So I have asked to be cremated and to not have a public funeral, or any “pomp” whatsoever. And prayer? Fugheddaboudit.

      1. As someone who doesn’t believe in God’s existence, praying to God means little to me. But if it makes those who do pray feel better, go for it.

  6. I agree with, Grace, funerals are for the living and not the dead. I’ve been to several funerals where there was pomp and circumstance but most I attended were a simple service.

    When I lived in Florida, I attended a funeral where the reason for the persons demise was murder. The crowd was full of police and the FBI. I never attended another funeral after that.

    Personally, I don’t want a public service. I want to be cremated and my ashes strewn in the Blue Ridge Mountains. No tears, just laughter, and Cheers to a life well lived.

  7. I have to admit I have thought about it recently.
    I find it hard to think of people I loved being sad. I would like them to be able to be together and talk about happy memories, even laugh a little over silly things I have done or said.
    I don’t really care about ceremonies or traditions. But prayer, well, yes, I do think I would want someone to pray that God remembers me, keeps me safe in His memory, comforts the people I love, and helps Ben find support and joy with our friends and family.
    I don’t want a fuss particularly, but if there is any hope of death being temporary, then a prayer to God would surely be the most fitting aspect of a funeral.

  8. How important to you is the prayer and pomp of a funeral or indeed your funeral? Not important at all!

    Are you likely to opt for a more traditional plan or a new alternative no frills option? My instructions are to cremate me, take me on a family cruise (because I am so seasick in this human body I cannot bear to be on a ship) and upon arrival in international waters, dump me overboard. Words of remembrance are optional…

    Would you wish for those attending to dress formally or casually, smart casual – would you be offended by jeans and sneakers? In my plan casual is where it’s at!

  9. I guess I answered your questions on someone else’s Blog. Great topic. I need a few more years to think about all this. I am not ready to answer yet! Wear whatever you like. Bring laughter to my funeral/wake.

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