an anglican funeral

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an anglican funeral

Post by momi » Wed May 08, 2013 7:39 pm

hi ladies

DH's grandfather passed away on monday morning :cry:
he was going to turn 90 in a week :(
the funeral is on friday and we are planning to attend the service at the church.
i am hoping someone of the Anglican faith could answer some questions i have about the service, either on here or via PM is fine.
just want to make sure i don't do anything to offend the congregation (apart from being there :? )

thank you

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Post by s squirrel » Wed May 08, 2013 7:51 pm

What are your concerns momi?
(and just for the record, I didn't think you could offend the congregation :wink: )
My sympathies about grandpa - 89 is a pretty good innings.
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if you can't run, then walk,
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but whatever you do you have to keep moving
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Post by mooki » Wed May 08, 2013 8:00 pm

Im so sorry momi. my thoughts are with your DHs family :(

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Post by Penguin » Wed May 08, 2013 8:41 pm

Sorry for your loss x

The Anglican funerals I've been to have been fairly 'normal', eg what you would expect from a secular funeral in terms of behaviour etc. If you don't know or don't want to sat any of the prayers etc you can just be quiet if you want.

Any other questions?
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Post by momi » Wed May 08, 2013 8:43 pm

thanks ladies. he was such a beautiful man, and will be missed by so many. i'm so sad that my children will no longer have him in their lives.

my main question is to do with standing during hymns - is this a significant part of the service, is it a form of worship or just out of respect for what is being said?

basically in my faith, we don't participate in religious rites of other religions (obviously because we don't believe in them and also because sometimes things are said that are in direct opposition with our beliefs)
so just wondering if sitting will be ok? i'm ok with standing out of respect but not if it has religious significance. does this even make sense?
and i really am not out to offend anyone, i love and respect you all regardless of our differences and i know all the old-timers here know this :smt049
but please do forgive me if i have unintentionally caused offense with my question or way of asking it :(

i'm really struggling to deal with my grief now, i've just realised that they intend to cremate him on friday after the service and that just breaks my heart :cry:

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Post by momi » Wed May 08, 2013 8:45 pm

penguin - just saw your reply, thank you, i have never been to a secular funeral either, this is the first death of someone close to me who is not of my faith (actually it's the first loss of a family member who i am close to that i have experienced), so that is why i am asking.

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Post by Karleen » Wed May 08, 2013 8:50 pm

Hi Momi,
There's no religious significance to standing during singing. It might be offensive to some to for someone to sit though, people might consider it disrespectful however, if you have a child on your lap this would be less likely...given that you loved this man and he was a close family member most people will be understanding of the grief and no make any assumptions about how you act at the funeral.
Sympathies to you and your family.

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Post by nicole and eamonn » Wed May 08, 2013 8:51 pm

I'm an Anglican, I'm pretty sure we just stand for singing because it's easier for the lungs to take a deep breath and therefore make a loud noise! Heaps of people in my church don't stand for the singing, mainly because they are elderly or have young kids with them, or a feeling sick. Generally if a person is not standing for the singing, their partner or family members will sit in solidarity with them. Heaps of people also don't sing at all - just stand there and look at the words.
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Post by momi » Wed May 08, 2013 9:24 pm

Thank you very much ladies, that helps a lot. It sounds like the churches are.quite child friendly I have always gotten the impression from dh's Anglican family that children are not welcome. Perhaps this is just my misconception. I don't know how respectful our kids would be during a funeral service tho, probably better to leave them at home.
Thanks again.

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Post by pseudo » Wed May 08, 2013 9:49 pm

I'm very sorry for your loss. It isn't offensive not to stand. Some people find that standing is too difficult because of their grief anyway so I don't think anyone would even notice if you remained sitting xx.


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Post by AussieBritLu » Wed May 08, 2013 10:32 pm

My suggestion....if your children are too young to understand that they will need to be respectful and quiet, then it is probably best they stay home....there is nothing worse than you trying to keep your children quiet and you not getting to say your own goodbye... (I hope this doesn't co,e across harshly or offensive...that isn't my intention)....please forgive me.
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Post by JMc » Thu May 09, 2013 2:15 am

I think the standing to sing is about filling the lungs, too. No one will mind if you don't stand, or if they do, they are worrying about the wrong things in life! It is possible that people may still kneel to pray. If so, you may want to avoid this, as they will be kneeling in worship and out of reverence to God. If you don't kneel no one will mind either. At my church only the older congregation members still kneel, so there is always a combination

As for children being welcome, I think if a church isn't welcoming children they are on the wrong track and need to get their act together! I also think that having children at a funeral is important. It reminds people life goes on, often provides a little bit of humour in the midst of grief and is a good teaching opportunity. However, if you feel worried about the behaviour, or how you will be able to cope with them in your own grief, then it's fine to choose not to take them. I just don't think you should feel pressured not to take then iykwim.

Condolences to you and your family. I hope Friday is a good celebration of his life.
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Post by Bailey's Mum » Thu May 09, 2013 5:53 am

OH my dear friend, I am so sorry for your loss :cry:

Standing during hymn singing is probably (a) to give the lungs room (b) to rest the backside (especially if the seats are wooden) and (c) a mark of respect for the words that are being sung.

If (c) is an issue for you - you don't have to sing. You can just stand as a mark of respect for those around you if you prefer.

If there will be other aspects of the service that are incompatible with your faith, do what is right for you. These days, there are people who are very devout and do everything that is part of a service (any service, not just a funeral), but many people at most funerals aren't regular church attenders and won't know what to do themselves. One of the biggest roles I've noticed in my padre friends is to prepare family members for what to expect during the service.

I recently attended my first Catholic baptism. I didn't know what to expect and was a little nervous. But even though I had theological questions about a few things in the service, it wasn't about discussing theology - it was about being there to support my friends doing what they believed was important.

Hope that helps. I will keep you in my heart, especially on Friday. And now I must go and dress for the funeral I'm going to today - a colleague, and the father of my friend, and FIL of our best man. We're not close to him, but are going to support our friends.
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Post by momi » Thu May 09, 2013 7:00 am

Thank you ladies, no offense taken, abl, I came to the same conclusion. I would like to take dd as she has very clear memories of him as we used to take the kids to visit him once or twice a month until the last 4 months where he just couldn't take the noise anymore :( she might be able to sit still (especially with the help of a small electronic device - would this be ok or disrespectful?) But ds who is firmly into his terrible 3's is a definite no.

BM - I hope you are ok, you do such amazing work supporting so many people.

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Post by geek anachronism » Thu May 09, 2013 7:31 am

My old church (Anglican) was understanding of people from other religions visiting - you didn't have to come up for communion, or you could just for the blessing and so on.

We had my great-grandmother's funeral on Tuesday (very much secular - she was an amicable kind of atheist) and there were a fair few kids there. Some ran around (...dressed in hot pink) but it was fine. Some kids pick up on the prevailing emotions and settle quite a lot.
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