Thursday, February 11, 2010

Manly Advice For Funerals

The Art of Manliness has a primer on funeral etiquette.

“Always go to the funeral” is an excellent motto for a man to adopt. Yes, going to funerals isn’t fun. They can be boring, somber, inconvenient and emotional affairs. You may feel awkward. But fun is the yardstick that boys use to make decisions. When you become a man, you do things because they’re right and good, and because your desire to serve others supersedes your own comfort.

It may be tempting to rationalize that the person is dead and won’t know if you’re there or not. But funerals are not for the dead, they are for the living.
Weddings and funerals are the places where there is generally a TON of expectations, customs, ceremonies, and loads of unspoken do's and don'ts. It is also a place where poor manners and self-absorption make a terrible and lasting impression.

Always show up on time and dress appropriately; this shows respect. As Christians we do not have contempt for our bodies in death because we know we will be reunited with them at the Resurrection. Our "real" selves are body+soul together, not just one or the other.
CCC 2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy;91 it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.
There is even some some Catholic specific advice. Remember, funerals are as much for the living and the dead.
For a Catholic family, consider getting the family a mass card in lieu of flowers. You don’t have to be Catholic to get a mass card. You make a donation to the Church, and in turn, the Church promises to say prayers or a mass on behalf of the soul of the deceased. The mass card says when the mass will take place, and you can give the card to the deceased family. For fellow Catholics, purchasing a mass card is a gesture of faith, compassion, and solidarity. For non-Catholics, sending a mass card shows your understanding, respect, and thoughtfulness.
There is no time when it is not appropriate to act like a man. If you've never had the experience of a funeral or didn't know what to do when you got there, consider this your training opportunity.

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