It is a funeral - NOT a church service, you ass!

Monday morning, my father in law passed away from a massive stoke. He was a good person, father, and husband. He was not perfect. He did tend to have an excess of personality that could drive a person nuts. But I did love him. He was a second father to me. This past week, we have been helping my mother in law prepare the funeral, slowly gathering friends and family from near and far. Most of the family has made spiritual leaps in faith differing from his. (he was a Church or Christ member) but we decided that the minister from his church might want to lead the funeral. Yesterday was the viewing. Everything was in place and many people came to say their goodbyes and share memories. When this man (Though he calls himself minister, there is no way I will) came in to make final plans on the service. After hearing what was planned we thought there was no problem until he found out about the music. He proceeded to literally throw a fit. Why? **One song ** Why? Because it was not acapella.
This sanctimonious, self righteous prig threw a fit in front of friends and family… in the viewing room of my father in law for one damn song. And would not budge even when another minister of the same faith said he did not see a problem with it as it was a funeral - not a church service. This man acted like an ass and multiplied the grief and pain of my family because of his “my way is the ONLY way” attitude.
Needless to say, that minister will not be officiating the funeral and is not welcome at the homes of any of the family members ever.
What I think is so ironic is the song in question. My husband requested it. The song is a traditional but little heard Christian hymn. My husband and I both are pagan.
Please note that I am not wanting to debate the pros and cons of any religious choice. I am firmly in the belief the we are all headed to same place, we all just take different roads to get there. I have no problem with the ass’s religious convictions. I have a problem with the “my way is the only way” asshole attitude he chose to show. That is what I am pitting.

Throw a hissy fit in front of the recently bereaved?! If someone had pulled that bullshit during my dad’s funeral I would have smashed their face in, collar or no collar.

That’s why they’re called Camelites. “My way is the only way” is the foundation of their religion and they’re the only ones going to heaven.

How peaceful of you.

Peace is for the poor soul that’s at rest, not for the disrespectful bastard that violated the sanctity of the proceedings.

Where was the funeral being held? In the funeral home or the church of that minister? If it was the latter then he had a point, the CoC doesn’t use pianos, organs, or any music instruments save the human voice.

It was a thoroughly rotten thing for him to throw a fit like that. He could have calmly and gently explained that the Church of Christ * doesn’t* use instrumental music as part of their worship services. If he couldn’t reconcile himself to the use of an instrumental hymn, he should have bowed out of participation. That minister was “acting like a jerk”, to coin a phrase.

One nitpick, a funeral is considered to be a worship service. It differs from other in that particular emphasis is laid on praising God for the life of the deceased, and the salvation God has made available to everyone.

Mjcklmoon, I am sorry for your loss. I hope things got better from that point, and the tantrum throwing child “er” minister, got lost himself.

matt_mcl My husband very nearly did. As a matter of fact, I do believe that if I did not have his hand very firmly behind his back, I would be bailing him out of jail right now.

Baker the funeral is being held at the funeral home.
And I guess I am showing my pagan beliefs, as I see a funeral as being a time to celebrate the life of the person and to say goodbye to him as he moves on. A symbolic closing of the circle, so to speak.

I do appreciate the sympathy given as I appreciate this board. I have been working night shifts through all of this and this board has been my nighttime distraction so I can function until I can deal with my grief. I may not post much, but I do lurk avidly.

I’m not a clerical type, but it may well be that when a minister of Denomination X is asked to preside over the wedding/funeral/whatever of a Denomination X member, s/he regards it as a Denomination X service, regardless of location. (Whenever two or more are gathered together, and all that.)

But that does not justify the bum riling up the proceedings at the viewing. He had no business doing that.

As a fellow Pagan I agree with your version of a funeral. When my grandmother died last year they held a beautiful ceremony in the church and the minister didn’t have a problem with any of the music because it was OUR celebration of her life NOT his. Regardless of the religious stance on certain things, it’s NOT the ministers place to “throw a hissy” in front of the bereved. It is his/her job to COMFORT said persons and if they are comforted by certain things (IE music) then the minister should abide by these wishes. Funerals aren’t for the “officiator” they are for the families and friends. He should be ashamed of himself for acting like a 4 year old. My condolences on your loss. Please feel free to email me if you need to talk.

Goddess Bless you and yours

Regardless of where the service was to be, the minister was very childish and insensitive in his reaction. The fact that the service was to be in a funeral home and not in the church just compounds his idiocy. If the idea was religiously repugnant to him, he should have quietly explained that he would be unable to do the service and recommend someone who could.

I’m very sorry for your loss and for this insensitivity at a time when kindness was most needed.

Baker’s on target. When a clergyman of a given denomination is asked to “do the funeral” for a person, there’s a tacit agreement that “under the rules/ritual of that denomination” is being asked of him. Nonetheless, it isn’t his service but that for the mourners and in honor of the deceased, and he should be solicitous of their wishes within the bounds of the denominational standards, and bow out if there’s an irreconcilable conflict. My parents were inactive members of the Methodist Church next door, and my aunt was very active until eased out the door by the pastor there because she was opposd to his plans. When my mother died, the pastor there saw her funeral as a chance to evangelize a bunch of people he didn’t normally preach to. My father, Barb, and I were royally pissed. So when my father died, we asked the pastor of another Methodist church, whom Barb and I worked with in the interdenominational mission group we were part of, and when my aunt died, we asked our own Episcopal priest to hold the service. The Methodist pastor was irked, since according to him they were part of “his church,” but we did what was right by what they would have wanted.

I am inclined to agree with Zoe.

The man frankly did not speak well of himself or his faith by being an ass to the bereaved like that.

Ahhh … I so appreciate your loss and your grief.

When my Sweetie (and wife) passed away, (way too early, at 44) the obvious place was a Catholic church across the street from the hospital where she worked. Three reasons, she’d been raised Catholic, (non-practicing) so her mother would be appeased, The church is an ‘active’ partner with the hospital, in many programs, and it was the closest place that would hold the expected numbers. (she was well known and liked)

I have the opposite story from you. The head priest at the church acknowledged that I was not Catholic (I’m actually in the “spiritual not religious” sector now … and teach in that vein), and that many of the people attending would not be. His comment was, “I became a priest to minister to people, not to be a rule-picking cleric.” He added a Christian minister (the hospital chaplain) and an Episcopal Priest (a dear friend) to the service, let me choose different scripture verses than his ‘preferred’ ones, and since they had meaning to me, let ME come to the pulpit and read the scriptures … so they had my own emphasis in the words. He broke some Major rules in having all 3 of them do a communion, so non-Catholics could also join, if they chose to … and the most strongly practicing Wiccian friends of mine weren’t struck by lightening at any time in the building or after the service. (they vacillated between relieved and bummed on the lightening part)
He bent many rules I hadn’t even thought of, as being in the way, and pointed out why it would work better if that rule was … ‘laid aside for the moment …’
I will always appreciate meeting that “man of God” who also happened to be a priest.

Different from the minister who, after I gave my eulogy for a dear friend, recently, which included veiled references to beliefs he and I shared about life of the sprit, beyond death … That minister stood up and proceeded to make a comment of … “I’m Sure when you said ‘…’ you Meant …” and continued on to do, what struck everyone there as, "It’s My Service, so I’ll be dang’d if you’re going to have talked longer than I do … " -equal time- reinterpretation of what I’d said to twist it into his doctrine.
Like I said, I’ll always appreciate meeting a “man of God,” and I’ll remember meeting this doctrine-scholar, too.

I would think (being separated from having to deal with a church when it came to a funeral) that if one found a disconnect between what was being done for a service and one’s religious beliefs, that one would bow out (with the objection stated and civil attempts to reconcile made) rather can cause strife of this sort.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I have not love, I am only a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” Cor 1:13

Or to put it another way, even if he really believes it’s important to have only acapella singing at a religous service, if he puts that ahead of the love he should be showing for his fellow men, he probably sounds a lot worse to God than a litle guitar accompliment would.

My condolences…

When my grandmother passed away a few years ago we had a very similar experience.

The pastor of the church of which my grandmother had been attending for well over thirty years refused to sing her favorite hymn during the funeral.

Unfortunately, it was a new guy, the old pastor having retired a couple years prior to her passing.

Well, today was the funeral. Today we said our goodbyes to my father in law. The minister officiating honored him and remembered him and did not go fishing for souls. He read scripture that wold help some deal with the passing that was appropriate and good. The song in question was played and at the interrment “Amazing Grace” was piped by a friend who played the bagpipes as a final farewell. It could not have gone better.
After some discussion, it was decided that the previous man really did not know my FIL as well as he put on. My FIL loved music. If he had not, then my husband would not be playing the flute, the recorder and the irish whistle today. He would not have objected to the music, and would have been honored to know the bagpipes were played for him. The minister that officiated has my respect and heartfelt thanks because he eased the grief in a small yet significant way that the other man would not have been able to do.
Like I said before, I have no problem with the man’s faith. But I have serious problems with his maturity. As a matter of fact, the man that did the funeral was of the same faith as that other man and had no problems with any of it. Anyway, I have spent enough time and energy being angry at a man whose mind is so closed the jaws of life would fail at shedding some light in there.
Thanks to everyone for the input and condolences. It means more than you know.

Well, y’know, some people join the faith because they heard God calling.

Some joined the faith because they wanted to minister to their fellows.

…and some join the faith so they can always be right, no matter what…

Glad to hear it went well.
Again, so sorry for your loss, each of you.

Another condolence from the peanut gallery.

I think I would have picked up the minister and THROWN him out the door… whether I took time to open it or not would depend on how much he was struggling. Yeah, I dont handle stress too well.

Accapella is gorgeous if done right, but funerals aren’t for the dead. They are for the living. I’m glad the funeral worked out to be so satisfying( for want of a better word).