Skip to main content

Liturgical Snobbery

I am a liturgical snob.

We buried my grandfather today.  The pastor used the time to do an expanded altar call rather than celebrate the life of my grandfather or to offer any words of comfort whatsoever.

I thought that surely he would offer some traditional prayers at the burial--you know, some ashes to ashes, dust to dust, recieve this man into your open and loving arms, comfort this family, something!  I must admit--he did ask God to comfort us but that was it.  I wanted to hear about my grandfather being received/admitted into heaven, being made whole through Christ Jesus.

I did not want to hear that it was the time to decide whether or not to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I did not need to hear that  going to church, belonging to a church or denomination did not guarantee me admitance to the afterlife or that heaven is a litural place somewhere in the sky/up above. 

I've been to one other funeral that totally upset me as much as this one did.  That was for my cousin, Doug.  That pastor, different man but same denomination, also used the funeral for an extended altar call rather than offering words of comfort.  I was 16 at that funeral and it bugged me then! 

I wanted to hear about a new heaven and a new earth, about my tears and pain being wiped away.  I wanted to hear about my grandfather being made whole and resurrected through Jesus Christ.  I wanted to pray for God to lovingly receive him into God's arms.  I wanted real words of comfort.

I wanted to hear ashes to ashes, dust to dust, from God and returned to God. 

I did find that I have a pretty hilarious family.  I received a disk of pictures of my grandfather that I will cherish forever. 

Now I need to let myself feel the pain and sadness that keeps threatening to leak out.  It began to sneak out but I pushed it back.  I guess I need to pray for the strength to feel. 

That said, it's got to wait till Thursday.  I will be honoring the life and faith of a wonderful woman and friend on Wednesday.  I hope we'll have a break from death for a long while--we've had too much of it in our church this past year.  I know others who've experienced much more than I have but I'm really tired and need to rest in the Spirit.

Speaking of rest, good night and sweet dreams.  God bless.

Comments

mibi52 said…
Blessings to you, too...I guess I'm a liturgical snob, too. We had a similar experience at the funeral of my husband's uncle. It was such an offensive service (and I do not use that phrase lightly) that several members of the family who are clergy and professors of theology wrote to the pastor, decrying the way the service went. They were told "Well, that's the service R and C would have wanted." Not so sure about that....I think we need to acknowledge the place of grief and pain as well as the hope of the resurrection, and that is the beauty of our liturgy.It gives space for the range of human experience of death even as it unfolds the promise of the heavenly banquet table. But somehow God helps us wrap an incarnational experience around our understanding of God's mystery. May your dear grandfather rest in peace and rise in glory.
God_Guurrlll said…
Yep same experience at my father-in-law's funeral. But the extended altar call with no liturgy was the funeral he wanted. I gave the eulogy but his widow (my MIL whom I love deeply) asked to read it and the she took out all of my liturgical language.

My condolences to you in these hard times.

Popular posts from this blog

My Third-trimester Abortion

It's something I don't talk about much.

In the past I referred to it as a stillbirth. It was a stillbirth. But it was also an induced labor in my third trimester, hence making it a third-trimester abortion.

When I discovered I was pregnant I was only 16 years old. I'm pretty sure Christopher was conceived on the night my mom walked in on my boyfriend and I having sex on the couch. I thought she was going to be at work but she came home early. He ran out the door and I cried while my mother yelled profanities at me. It was a horrible night for all of us.

I wasn't smart enough to consider pretending I was on my period. After a few months my mom asked me if I was pregnant. She was right but I denied it just the same. Tim and I had talked about giving the baby up for adoption but we were scared out of our minds and decided I'd get an abortion. Another month or so passed, I hadn't gotten an abortion and I couldn't deny my pregnancy to my mom anymore. I told her …

Sleep Deprived Post

First of all, I am a sleeper. I can sleep through nearly anything.  I can still sleep until noon. As soon as my head hits the pillow I fall asleep. I can wake up and go back to sleep almost immediately. I'm a sleeper, it's what I do.

This morning I woke up around 2:30 or 3. I have not been able to go back to sleep! I've been yawning for hours, I've tried laying down and going back to sleep but it's not working. So here I am 2.5 hours later writing on my blog. I'm not sure I can be responsible for what I write in this sleep deprived state.

In about 5 hours I'll leave to pick up my eldest daughter and her BFF from college. Let's hope I don't sleep during the drive!  Okay, not really funny. I'll have to take a cue from my mom and pull over and take a nap when I get drowsy.

I think it was my junior year of high school and I was driving a boat of a car that looked a lot like this:
If possible, I think it was even longer and not as pretty but it was go…

Cancer blues

Most days I feel really positive and good.  Today is not one of those days. Today is one of those days in which I've been thinking about having my lymph nodes removed and the risk of lymphodema in my legs. Dr. Gyn/Onc seemed more worried about this side effect than the actual cancer.  I don't want to go there but sometimes those images of log tree legs, remembering the pain from the swelling in my legs when I was pregnant, and imagining the drains being stuck in my body for a week or more, well it makes my skin crawl.

I know there will be good days and bad days. I try to keep the bad days from my family and friends. I know they are stressed too.

I feel like we are one of those families in which something is always going on and people start to pull away wondering WTF is wrong with them!

I'm used to being the care taker, not the one receiving care.

I have to find a new normal and that won't happen until after the surgery.  So I need an interim normal for the time being.