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Thread: I went to Church!

  1. #1
    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default I went to Church!

    I have been to church. Unfortunately, the occasion was not a joyous one. My dear auntie had passed away, at too young an age. For private reasons, she had requested a traditional Catholic funeral. Save for a handful, none of my (her) relatives under seventy are religious. Neither was she. On the contrary. A libertine, a progressive, a business woman with her own high-tech firm. Did she have a conversion in the final hour? Did she long for the tradition? The consolation of eternal life?

    I am an atheist, and a fiery anti-clericalist to boot. I am also a baptized Catholic. The choice whether to partake in the rite was respectfully left up to individual attendees. I partook in the rite.

    The mass was beautiful, very traditional. I must hand it to the Catholics: they’ve got style. Incense, a choir lamenting the deceased, a procession to the graveyard. The tradition of it all had a comforting effect. One felt part of something enduring. Life and death were made less absolute. Death becomes a rite of passage, the soul of the departed moves on. Simultaneously, the community congregates, comes together, celebrates the continuity of the line. Those that have come before, and those that will come after, are made part of a single whole.

    Beautiful day too. Great setting: deep down south, in a small village. Half my family is from there, many still live there. A place where time has stood still, where life has a different pace. The whole extended family was together, everybody dressed in black, looking stunningly beautiful. (To say I have a good-looking family would be an understatement) An old country church – still a centre of life for the community. Great banquet afterwards. Wine, bread, sun.


    There is something to be said for old ways. For both 'the province' and for church. They are socially suffocating, intellectually stunting. I would wither away. Yet, there are undeniable qualities: community spirit, warmth, a sense of belonging.
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  2. #2
    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    My condolences with your loss, Louis

    Beautiful post.
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    Ja mata, TosaInu

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    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Condolences for your Aunt.

    Do you now have to turn in your Atheist's Clubtm membership card ? j/k

    I agree, there is high value in ritual and ceremony for major life events. Or even little ones.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  4. #4
    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Condolences for you loss, friend
    Rest in Peace TosaInu, the Org will be your legacy
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    Clan Clan InsaneApache's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    I've told my wife that I want donating to the local teaching hospital when I'm dead. Plus she'd get about £800 for my old grizzled corpse. A win win then.

    OT: Yes I often feel a twinge of envy for all those who believe in an almighty. Must be a comfort to think that you'll see your loved ones again. Alas I'm far too rational to buy into that rubbish. My loss I 'spose. When my grandad died for some reason my grandmother got a catholic preist in to to the business. Too say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement. He was a full on socialist who heeded Marxs' maxim about opium and religion. She was C of E as far as I know. From what I can gather the local sisters of mercy got wind that he was on his last legs and stepped in and 'pursuaded' my grandmother to let them send him off. Talk about crows circling!

    Anyway. afterwards I went up to the priest and asked him what he thought of my grandad. He admitted that he'd only met him once, when he was on his deathbed. He also said he'd wanted to administer the last rites but my mother had stopped him. I was only 18 at the time but my disgust for religion was ratcheted up several notches that day.

    Sorry for your loss Louis.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    condolences

  7. #7
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Sorry to hear that Louis, my anti-clerical friend. I'm glad everyone dealt with it so well.

    I think I'll follow IA's approach when I kick the bucket, may as well have my body be of some use once I'm gone.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  8. #8

    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Condolences Louis
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  9. #9
    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : I went to Church!

    Thanks for the condolances. She was dear to me, I have always had a soft spot for her. But we were not all that close to be honest. She lived too far away. More important to me is that she leaves behind two small children, the youngest only nine.

    ~~-~~-~~<o0o>~~-~~-~~


    TinCow - in another thread somewhere - said he was both an atheist and a Jew. Is it possible that I am both an atheist and a 'Catholic'? You know - simply out of a melancholic longing for the tradition, for the belonging. For the rituals, celebrations, traditions that you recognise immediately.

    Where is the line, what is the difference, between the envied traditions and timelessness of the province, of 'profound France', and of Catholicism?

    One can love something that one loathes - that is one thing I discovered. For all the melancholic appreciation I feel for them, for all my admittance of enviable qualities, I know both Catholicism and the province to be full of hypocrisy, of petty feuds, of narrow-mindedness.

    ~~-~~-~~<o0o>~~-~~-~~


    Quote Originally Posted by Rhy
    when I kick the bucket, may as well have my body be of some use once I'm gone
    Wut?

    That surprises me. When I die, please feel free to cut out what parts are useful, and burn the rest. Then again, I am an atheist. I expected you, of all people, to wish your bodily remains buried, somewhat intact if at all possible.
    Last edited by Louis VI the Fat; 05-18-2009 at 14:25.
    Anything unrelated to elephants is irrelephant
    Texan by birth, woodpecker by the grace of God
    I would be the voice of your conscience if you had one - Brenus
    Bt why woulf we uy lsn'y Staraft - Fragony
    Not everything
    blue and underlined is a link


  10. #10
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    It’s good to read that the rituals had such an affect on you. Even if you don’t believe in a particular faith it’s good to go through them. Maybe that was her intent; to help those who remained. I’m glad that things went as well as they could, considering your loss.


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  11. #11
    This comment is witty! Senior Member LittleGrizzly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : I went to Church!

    My thoughts are with you...

    Sounds like it has alot more 'style' than the funerals i have been to, I have always thought religion is most comforting in death, or the deaths of others at least...

    I would be happy for my body to be experimented on, used for parts, or whatever way it can be most helpful after i have vacated it...
    In remembrance of our great Admin Tosa Inu, A tireless worker with the patience of a saint. As long as I live I will not forget you. Thank you for everything!

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : I went to Church!

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    Wut?

    That surprises me. When I die, please feel free to cut out what parts are useful, and burn the rest. Then again, I am an atheist. I expected you, of all people, to wish your bodily remains buried, somewhat intact if at all possible.
    Sorry if this is slightly derailing the thread, but when I die they can throw my body on a dung heap for all I care. I don't like grand ceremonies and traditions in life, and I wouldn't want them in death either. There's no need to be buried nicely for religious reasons, otherwise a lot of martyrs are in some trouble.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  13. #13
    This comment is witty! Senior Member LittleGrizzly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : I went to Church!

    Surely there is no better use of one of god deceased creatures than to give renewed life to gods other creations... from a religious point of view...
    In remembrance of our great Admin Tosa Inu, A tireless worker with the patience of a saint. As long as I live I will not forget you. Thank you for everything!

  14. #14
    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Sorry for your loss Louis.


    And of course teh church pulls of a great show, they have had hundreds of years to perfect it. And without those cool shows the masses would never flock to the church.

    I like going to church around christmas just to hear the music. Let's not forget that some of the best classical music ever made was made for the church.

    I do however prefer to hear it in latin so I dont get irritated by the platitudes in the lyrics.

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV View Post
    And of course teh church pulls of a great show, they have had hundreds of years to perfect it. And without those cool shows the masses would never flock to the church.
    That's hardly reflective of all churches is it?
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Senior Member naut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : I went to Church!

    Many condolences Louis.

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleGrizzly View Post
    Surely there is no better use of one of god deceased creatures than to give renewed life to gods other creations... from a religious point of view...
    Indeed:
    "From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity."
    #Hillary4prism

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  17. #17
    Vindicative son of a gun Member Jolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    My condolences to you Louis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    The mass was beautiful, very traditional. I must hand it to the Catholics: they’ve got style. Incense, a choir lamenting the deceased, a procession to the graveyard. The tradition of it all had a comforting effect. One felt part of something enduring. Life and death were made less absolute. Death becomes a rite of passage, the soul of the departed moves on. Simultaneously, the community congregates, comes together, celebrates the continuity of the line. Those that have come before, and those that will come after, are made part of a single whole.
    Yeah, when you have an institution patternizing that ritual for two thousand years, I would say it has to be decent for the mourners.
    BLARGH!

  18. #18
    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    My grandmother passed away in January, and was a die-hard Catholic, the Funerals are very spiritually moving. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, I lament her passing.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Sincères condoléances Louis.

    I lost my mother 2 years ago.
    She always was an atheist and refused Churches so she was buried in a non-religious ceremony. It took place in a village graveyards, in a beautiful warn autumn. We played the Adagio of Albinoni as she asked us to do. The Jurassian hills in the horizon, the beautiful colors of the dying leaves and the music did what the church did for you.
    It gave a island of peace surrounded by a sea of grief.
    Somewhere to look than to the hole in the ground.
    Last edited by Brenus; 05-18-2009 at 20:10. Reason: sp
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    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Lo siento, amigo




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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    My condolenses Loius.

    That's very sad, whether you are religious or not I think commemorative ceremonies are important for the family. They do help.

    IA, also sad, but I also feel a bit sorry for the Priest as well.
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    Default Re: Re : I went to Church!

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    Thanks for the condolances. She was dear to me, I have always had a soft spot for her. But we were not all that close to be honest. She lived too far away. More important to me is that she leaves behind two small children, the youngest only nine.
    I share your sorrow for them. I will say prayers for her family, that they may grieve well and move forward with hope and good fortune. Untimely deaths are a burden -- pretty much what I work to defend against all the time....

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat
    One can love something that one loathes - that is one thing I discovered. For all the melancholic appreciation I feel for them, for all my admittance of enviable qualities, I know both Catholicism and the province to be full of hypocrisy, of petty feuds, of narrow-mindedness.
    I'd go so far as to say that real hatred/loathing cannot occur without affection -- it isn't possible to truly "hate" casually.

    Also, I'd replace "Catholicism" with Catholics. Hypocrisy, petty-mindedness and feuding are NOT part of the doctrine. Sadly, being sinners, if you use Catholics, I'd have to admit that most (all?) -- including me -- fall short in such ways a goodly proportion of the time.
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  23. #23
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Death rituals, catholic, hindu, animist, or other, are about hope for the living, aren't they? In the secret, inner-est eye of the most avowed no-godder, there exists (by definition of continuing to breathe) the slightest glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, "I" can exist,

    for a brief moment before consumption into the amorphous godhead, or in future lives dictated by my actions in this life, or in an elysian field or a paradise place...

    Somewhere, someplace the being I mean when I say "I", can survive.

    Otherwise, whatthehell are we doing here, besides waiting for the next bus?

    ~::~

    So, of course I can be a jewish atheist or catholic athiest or a nordic atheist. In my opinion, any human who has NOT challenged the existence of god(s) has not yet become fully human.

    It is when we brashly, arrogantly, pridefully... assume and subsume the imagination of a god, that we realize our humanity.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  24. #24
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Sorry to hear about your aunt Louis. May her children and your family find the comfort they need and the strength to move on.
    This space intentionally left blank

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    Bringing down the vulgaroisie Member King Henry V's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    My condolences on your loss, Louis.

    I think there's much to be said about pomp and ceremony, at which the Catholic Church of course excels. I too am what you might call a Catholic by tradition: I definitely believe in God, but I'm more vague where Jesus Christ is concerned. Nevertheless, come Christmas, Easter, and other feasts I pop down to Church. I suppose it comes from a belief that God is present in beauty, even that crafted by man. For me, God is more present in a beautifully decorated, incense-filled and candlelit church than in some "multi-purpose faith centre" which could easily be converted into a carpet salesroom.
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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: I went to Church!

    Condolences Louis

    Can one be a Catholic by tradition? No I don't think so, it is a religion afterall and a lving one, you must be one through constant and mindful consent, to hate something does not always require love, I would say that it usually is the absence of any love at all which breeds hate and contempt.

    The act of public and sincere mourning is in fact a requirement for the living whom have lost one of their own. The lack of a very open ceremony to mark the passing of a loved one creates many aspects required for depression and other mental disorders. It has been noted that the lack of any kind of intimate ceremony for the death of a comrade in Vietnam created many cases of PTSD.

    One does not have to believe in order to feel the effect of an open ceremony of mourning.

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