Thursday, November 20, 2008

Going to church

As an anarchistic atheist it's interesting to visit a church particularly a Roman Catholic one though sadly in this case it was for a funeral.

While of course my thoughts should have been on the deceased (not not with the deceased) and with the family I couldn't help but critique the actual service. They do like hierarchy don't they? Worked their way up to the bishops, then saints, Mary, Jesus, and finally God; it's their own petty little bureaucracy. Then of course we get the "all glory is yours" etc. which stuck in the throat, then a little point from the priest about how we should think of the family in their time of mourning as with the family of Lazarus - um do you mean Lazarus the beggar (of Luke) who we're told now feasts at the table of Abraham or Lazarus of Bethany (from John) who came back; either way I'm not sure the comparison stands.

We got some short stuff (guff) about the symbology of bread, wine and the altar, hmm yeah sorry but I know the history behind this and it's not all peace and love you want to get back to the good old days slap a fatted calf down on it and slit its throat that's what it's all about.

Then finally we get the reason we're referred to as a 'flock' - sit for this, stand for this, sit down again, stand, now kneel all so polite that I expected at one point to be asked 'would you kindly'.

Anyway the eulogy was the best bit even though it got interrupted twice by an incoming message tone from the mobile of a member of the congregation, which sadly almost seems to have become de rigueur these days.

Oh and the fact that the Vale Road closings had switched back to two lanes made it so much easier to pull the procession out; silver linings.


Anonymous said...

I went to a funeral recently too. We were quite worried when we ran across a large recycling plant on the way to the crematorium! o_O

Anyway, yes, as somebody who does not believe in God, spending several hours sitting in a church recording videos of pipe organ playing was pretty out there too.

Anonymous said...

Orphi: Why? As an atheist, a church is no different to any other building, and a hymn is no different to any other song.

FlipC said...

To me, as I said, it's all the 'Wow you're the best invisible sky fairy there is' that gets tagged into every speech and hymn. It's a similar to singing 'O wonderful ether that doth propagate light' and wondering why physicists would have a problem with that.