Author Topic: Funeral question  (Read 1022 times)

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Offline Quintus

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Funeral question
« on: September 21, 2013, 09:36:42 AM »
I'm from a primarily RC family. Those that are not are some flavor of Protestant.

Some of my Catholic family members are getting rather elderly and their health is beginning to decline. They are very dear people to me despite our differences.

Here's my question. If I go forward with my plan to become fully Orthodox (which is strongly possible) would I be committing a grievous error by going to a funeral at a RC Church?


Offline Agabus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 09:42:58 AM »
No.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 10:05:32 AM »
Not at all.  If there's a funeral Mass, and you're Orthodox, you shouldn't receive Communion, that's all. 
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Offline Quintus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 04:31:11 PM »
Not at all.  If there's a funeral Mass, and you're Orthodox, you shouldn't receive Communion, that's all. 

Gotcha. Thanks much!

Offline Agabus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 05:59:01 PM »
Not at all.  If there's a funeral Mass, and you're Orthodox, you shouldn't receive Communion, that's all. 

Gotcha. Thanks much!
What made you think that just being in a Catholic church -- for a family member's funeral, no less -- would be a "grievous error?"
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Quintus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 06:32:33 PM »
I'm not sure. Sorry if this is rather vague. It's just the best I've got right now.  I'm kind of feeling out the boundaries at present.

Offline Basil 320

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 08:58:44 PM »
There are traditional Orthodox Christians who would say that if we are "Not to pray with heretics" (or is the quote, "heathens"---I can't recall which), our canons would preclude us from attending non-Eastern Orthodox church services.  It is not my intention to refer to Roman Catholics or other Trinitarian Christians as "heretics."

Not that I am a canonist by any means, and not that I look to a modernist spin when examining traditional Orthodox practices and canonical directives, which I believe compromises our faith, but in this type of a matter, I feel, during the first millennium, the Holy Fathers did not contemplate Orthodox Christians living as a minority community in a pluralistic and relatively secular society; not contemplating that within our own immediate families, we would have non-Orthodox Christian relatives, and friends for that matter.

I see nothing wrong with a devout Orthodox Christian's attendance at a non-Orthodox religious ceremony, particularly, the funeral of an immediate relative.  In fact I would find non-attendance at a parent's funeral, most ungrateful, disrespectful, and rude.  As some guidance above suggests, we do not participate in these ceremonies, especially in heterodox sacraments.  (Frankly, I try to avoid shaking hands at Roman Catholic services, by keeping my head down, though there are those ever friendly Roman Catholics who will go out of their way to seek me out, in which event I relent.)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 08:59:16 PM by Basil 320 »
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Offline Gayle

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 11:18:25 PM »
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2013, 07:12:39 PM »
There are traditional Orthodox Christians who would say that if we are "Not to pray with heretics" (or is the quote, "heathens"---I can't recall which), our canons would preclude us from attending non-Eastern Orthodox church services.  It is not my intention to refer to Roman Catholics or other Trinitarian Christians as "heretics."

Not that I am a canonist by any means, and not that I look to a modernist spin when examining traditional Orthodox practices and canonical directives, which I believe compromises our faith, but in this type of a matter, I feel, during the first millennium, the Holy Fathers did not contemplate Orthodox Christians living as a minority community in a pluralistic and relatively secular society; not contemplating that within our own immediate families, we would have non-Orthodox Christian relatives, and friends for that matter.

I see nothing wrong with a devout Orthodox Christian's attendance at a non-Orthodox religious ceremony, particularly, the funeral of an immediate relative.  In fact I would find non-attendance at a parent's funeral, most ungrateful, disrespectful, and rude.  As some guidance above suggests, we do not participate in these ceremonies, especially in heterodox sacraments.  (Frankly, I try to avoid shaking hands at Roman Catholic services, by keeping my head down, though there are those ever friendly Roman Catholics who will go out of their way to seek me out, in which event I relent.)
Sometimes I wonder what kind of signals we're sending when this question — this specific question, even — comes up so often from inquirers and new converts. Perhaps having such easy access to the canons and the worst/crankiest representatives of our coreligionists has made us think that it is natural to boil the calf in its mother's milk, turning something meant for life into something far darker. I would not be surprised to find an outsider who thinks Orthodoxy is a poison of a thousand rules.

To the OP: To be clear, Orthodoxy is none of those things.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 07:15:51 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Quintus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2013, 08:26:58 PM »
There are traditional Orthodox Christians who would say that if we are "Not to pray with heretics" (or is the quote, "heathens"---I can't recall which), our canons would preclude us from attending non-Eastern Orthodox church services.  It is not my intention to refer to Roman Catholics or other Trinitarian Christians as "heretics."

Not that I am a canonist by any means, and not that I look to a modernist spin when examining traditional Orthodox practices and canonical directives, which I believe compromises our faith, but in this type of a matter, I feel, during the first millennium, the Holy Fathers did not contemplate Orthodox Christians living as a minority community in a pluralistic and relatively secular society; not contemplating that within our own immediate families, we would have non-Orthodox Christian relatives, and friends for that matter.

I see nothing wrong with a devout Orthodox Christian's attendance at a non-Orthodox religious ceremony, particularly, the funeral of an immediate relative.  In fact I would find non-attendance at a parent's funeral, most ungrateful, disrespectful, and rude.  As some guidance above suggests, we do not participate in these ceremonies, especially in heterodox sacraments.  (Frankly, I try to avoid shaking hands at Roman Catholic services, by keeping my head down, though there are those ever friendly Roman Catholics who will go out of their way to seek me out, in which event I relent.)
Sometimes I wonder what kind of signals we're sending when this question — this specific question, even — comes up so often from inquirers and new converts. Perhaps having such easy access to the canons and the worst/crankiest representatives of our coreligionists has made us think that it is natural to boil the calf in its mother's milk, turning something meant for life into something far darker. I would not be surprised to find an outsider who thinks Orthodoxy is a poison of a thousand rules.

To the OP: To be clear, Orthodoxy is none of those things.

It's a point well taken. Thank you much.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 08:27:21 PM by Quintus »

Offline ilyazhito

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2013, 08:43:19 PM »
The key here is "praying" with the heretics or heathens. I could be present at a non-Orthodox service, but as long as I do not participate in it, mentally or physically, and do not partake of sacraments offered by non-Orthodox clergy, I am OK.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2013, 10:00:55 PM »
The key here is "praying" with the heretics or heathens. I could be present at a non-Orthodox service, but as long as I do not participate in it, mentally or physically, and do not partake of sacraments offered by non-Orthodox clergy, I am OK.
Define "mentally participate." I'm not sure how someone can be present at something like a funeral and not mentally participate. I suppose when the Roman priest starts praying for God's mercy on the soul of the departed, you stare at the ceiling and think of England?
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2013, 11:06:16 PM »
I'm from a primarily RC family. Those that are not are some flavor of Protestant.

Some of my Catholic family members are getting rather elderly and their health is beginning to decline. They are very dear people to me despite our differences.

Here's my question. If I go forward with my plan to become fully Orthodox (which is strongly possible) would I be committing a grievous error by going to a funeral at a RC Church?



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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2013, 11:10:52 PM »
The key here is "praying" with the heretics or heathens. I could be present at a non-Orthodox service, but as long as I do not participate in it, mentally or physically, and do not partake of sacraments offered by non-Orthodox clergy, I am OK.

Very significant distinction; important point!
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2013, 11:36:54 PM »
I'm from a primarily RC family. Those that are not are some flavor of Protestant.

Some of my Catholic family members are getting rather elderly and their health is beginning to decline. They are very dear people to me despite our differences.

Here's my question. If I go forward with my plan to become fully Orthodox (which is strongly possible) would I be committing a grievous error by going to a funeral at a RC Church?

Again as others have said: no.

Go to them if the need arises. I've been to Catholic/Lutheran weddings, and likewise wouldn't hesitate to go to a non-Orthodox funeral. Pretty much the same thing, anyway. Ba-dum-tss!

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2013, 11:48:32 PM »
For those who keep answering 'only if you do not mentally or physically participate', I have a follow up question.


What happens in the case of a prayer that Orthodoxy has in common with the group you are attending a service of?

i.e. for those of the 'don't participate' grouping, what would you do if they said the 'our father'? 


Clearly if you even -pray- along silently, you are indeed participating..no?

Offline Nephi

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2013, 11:55:52 PM »
For those who keep answering 'only if you do not mentally or physically participate', I have a follow up question.


What happens in the case of a prayer that Orthodoxy has in common with the group you are attending a service of?

i.e. for those of the 'don't participate' grouping, what would you do if they said the 'our father'?  


Clearly if you even -pray- along silently, you are indeed participating..no?

It's up to your priest, whose opinion generally matters more than internet posters. A previous priest of mine gave me permission to pray the Our Father if I ended up at a Catholic Mass, but not the Creed and obviously not commune or go up to receive a blessing. I'm not sure yet what my current priest would have me do.

Honestly, I think those that "pray by themselves" are still indirectly participating, even if to a more limited degree than an Orthodox praying an Our Father.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 11:56:10 PM by Nephi »

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2013, 12:00:17 AM »
For those who keep answering 'only if you do not mentally or physically participate', I have a follow up question.


What happens in the case of a prayer that Orthodoxy has in common with the group you are attending a service of?

i.e. for those of the 'don't participate' grouping, what would you do if they said the 'our father'?  


Clearly if you even -pray- along silently, you are indeed participating..no?

It's up to your priest, whose opinion generally matters more than internet posters. A previous priest of mine gave me permission to pray the Our Father if I ended up at a Catholic Mass, but not the Creed and obviously not commune or go up to receive a blessing. I'm not sure yet what my current priest would have me do.

Honestly, I think those that "pray by themselves" are still indirectly participating, even if to a more limited degree than an Orthodox praying an Our Father.

Oh I am very well aware its up to my priest.  I would no more follow guidance from here than i would drink poison.  EVERYTHING here is the opinion of -too much time on their hands- folks.... :-\

I am just asking those who have a firm 'no participation, no praying with others' stance how they personally would reconcile something like that, where the prayer is a 'common' one.

For things that are different, there is much less an issue, as participating in something that is -directly contrary- indeed would be in error.


Offline Nephi

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 12:05:10 AM »
Oh I am very well aware its up to my priest.  I would no more follow guidance from here than i would drink poison.  EVERYTHING here is the opinion of -too much time on their hands- folks.... Undecided

:laugh:

Quote
I am just asking those who have a firm 'no participation, no praying with others' stance how they personally would reconcile something like that, where the prayer is a 'common' one.

I see what you're asking now. No doubt they'll chime in soon, but it's almost no question that they'd even oppose common prayers. 8)

Offline Santagranddad

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 12:11:11 AM »
For those who keep answering 'only if you do not mentally or physically participate', I have a follow up question.


What happens in the case of a prayer that Orthodoxy has in common with the group you are attending a service of?

i.e. for those of the 'don't participate' grouping, what would you do if they said the 'our father'?  


Clearly if you even -pray- along silently, you are indeed participating..no?

It's up to your priest, whose opinion generally matters more than internet posters. A previous priest of mine gave me permission to pray the Our Father if I ended up at a Catholic Mass, but not the Creed and obviously not commune or go up to receive a blessing. I'm not sure yet what my current priest would have me do.

Honestly, I think those that "pray by themselves" are still indirectly participating, even if to a more limited degree than an Orthodox praying an Our Father.

Oh I am very well aware its up to my priest.  I would no more follow guidance from here than i would drink poison.  EVERYTHING here is the opinion of -too much time on their hands- folks.... :-\

I am just asking those who have a firm 'no participation, no praying with others' stance how they personally would reconcile something like that, where the prayer is a 'common' one.

For things that are different, there is much less an issue, as participating in something that is -directly contrary- indeed would be in error.



If the answer given by a contributor here reflects the 'mind of the Church' it is one thing, all else is merely opinion to borrow from Saint John of Shanghai. Don't recommend the drinking of poison though, seen too much of the consequences of that in a Poisons Unit. Not nice.

Offline Quintus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2013, 01:07:06 AM »
Look, I didn't mean to stir anything up. I just had what I suppose in retrospect was a stupid question.

I'm just trying to learn more and fully understand the Faith I'm getting into. I seriously didn't mean to offend anyone with my ignorance.

If I did, apologies.



Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2013, 01:15:14 AM »
Look, I didn't mean to stir anything up. I just had what I suppose in retrospect was a stupid question.

I'm just trying to learn more and fully understand the Faith I'm getting into. I seriously didn't mean to offend anyone with my ignorance.

If I did, apologies.

Nah, you didn't at all, people just like the back and forth. :)
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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2013, 01:17:44 AM »
No need to apologise at all.  We argue.  It's one of the things we can agree on.  :)

Seriously, yours wasn't a stupid question.  Some of us are honestly surprised (and a little disturbed) that you felt you had to ask what should be a no-brainer.  It says more about us and our "PR" than it does about you or the question.  
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Offline Quintus

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2013, 01:21:11 AM »
Look, I didn't mean to stir anything up. I just had what I suppose in retrospect was a stupid question.

I'm just trying to learn more and fully understand the Faith I'm getting into. I seriously didn't mean to offend anyone with my ignorance.

If I did, apologies.

Nah, you didn't at all, people just like the back and forth. :)


Good to know :) I just don't know to what degree most Orthodox folks interact with Catholics and what boundaries exist.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Funeral question
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2013, 09:48:34 AM »
You can take comfort in knowing that any question you ask to a group of Orthodox Christians on oc.net, you will receive approximately twice as many opinions as posts that are made. Therefore you should expect approximately 46 different opinions already.

Oops, I just made it 48.
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