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Growth of non-religious ceremonies in postcatholic ireland.


theObserver@hotmail.com

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There’s little doubt the Irish branch of the roman catholic church is withering away under the bored apathetic gaze of the current generation to the hostile glee of the older generation. Seminaries are barren despite heavy investment in public relations and the recruitment of a handful of poor fools trying to hide from the world makes headline news in the religious press. The dearth of men willing to submit to the numbing dogmatic bureaucracy of the centrally ruled Vatican city-state has led to estimates predicting the number of Irish priests dropping to “a few hundred” by 2042.

This has led to a slow but persistent increase in the demand for secular ceremonies:-
Irish funeral directors estimate that 10 percent of the nearly 30,000 funerals conducted annually are nonreligious. Government data show that about 30 percent of the 21,000 weddings annually are outside any church, up from 5 percent two decades ago.

Brian Whiteside, the director of ceremonies for the Humanist Association of Ireland, led more than 100 weddings, funerals or naming ceremonies in 2012.

“We’re busier than we ever thought we would be,” Whiteside said. “I thought I would do this as a sideline, but it’s taken over my life.”

Humanists — who believe in ethical values and a sense of compassion — have been at the forefront of performing nonreligious ceremonies. Whiteside said he and his 10 fellow Humanist-sanctioned celebrants have seen consistent growth, topping off at 78 funerals and 200 weddings in 2012.
Godless funerals thrive in ?post-Catholic? Ireland - Washington Post

Personally I find roman catholic ceremonies painful especially at emotive events like funerals. But I do like (a little) tradition and the idea employing a professional with a master’s in "bereavement studies" to conduct a ceremony with popular music just leaves me cold. Perhaps this is just a remanent of cultural Catholicism and will fade in time.

How do other posters feel about non-religious ceremonies? Has anyone attended one?
 

johnfás

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I've been to a few registry office weddings. They could do with spending a bit of money on those places - extremely bleak. That and the restrictions placed by the registrar on what the bride and groom could include in their ceremony were far greater than anything that your local priest would do.
 

LamportsEdge

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Attended one about 6 weeks ago which was a very nice ceremony and definitely in keeping with the views of the lady concerned.

She had no priest or anything but just family members saying a few words and the recurring theme was that she wouldn't have wanted people to mourn but to remember the happy times.

It was such a nice and simple ceremony with some music that was special to her that I thought that this is what I want and not some monotone paid magpie mumbling his way through his tenth funeral that week.
 

johnfás

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Attended one about 6 weeks ago which was a very nice ceremony and definitely in keeping with the views of the lady concerned.

She had no priest or anything but just family members saying a few words and the recurring theme was that she wouldn't have wanted people to mourn but to remember the happy times.

It was such a nice and simple ceremony with some music that was special to her that I thought that this is what I want and not some monotone paid magpie mumbling his way through his tenth funeral that week.
I've been to very nice non religious funerals but what you're doing in this post is simply trying to falsely support your argument with a fairly inaccurate stereotype. Most church funerals that I have been to where the individual attends that church are incredibly sincere and heartfelt.

You get what you're talking about when a family unknown to the priest phone him up and ask him to officiate at a funeral of somebody he has absolutely no knowledge of and then he has to come up with something generic.

The last funeral I was at in a church included a heartfelt thanks from the family to the (female) clergy person for the weekly visits and support that they provided to their mum over the course of two years during her gradual demise to cancer. Anecdotes don't really demonstrate very much without a little more context.
 

tigerben

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I was at a funeral yesterday, and the singer and songs choosen was fabulous. Catholic funerals have moved to been a celebration of a life rather than mourning the death.
 

LamportsEdge

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I've been to very nice non religious funerals but what you're doing in this post is simply trying to falsely support your argument with a fairly inaccurate stereotype. Most church funerals that I have been to where the individual attends that church are incredibly sincere and heartfelt.

You get what you're talking about when a family unknown to the priest phone him up and ask him to officiate at a funeral of somebody he has absolutely no knowledge of and then he has to come up with something generic.

The last funeral I was at in a church included a heartfelt thanks from the family to the (female) clergy person for the weekly visits and support that they provided to their mum over the course of two years during her gradual demise to cancer. Anecdotes don't really demonstrate very much without a little more context.
It is up to each individual of course. What I'm saying is that the important thing is the social signal among the bereaved that this is where the end is and when the ceremony whatever it is is over that is the signal to begin moving on. That is the psychology of these ceremonies.

My father has said also that he does not want a catholic funeral or priest and that surprised me as he is of the 50's generation although has never had much regard or interest in churches/priests.

I'm certainly having no priests involved.
 

Aindriu

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I want this played at mine.
[video=youtube_share;NOErZuzZpS8]http://youtu.be/NOErZuzZpS8[/video] A cremation obviously. petunia
 

FakeViking

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I was at a funeral yesterday, and the singer and songs choosen was fabulous. Catholic funerals have moved to been a celebration of a life rather than mourning the death.
So long as they keep promising the bereaved that they'll be reunited with the deceased in some mythical afterlife, count me out.
 

tigerben

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So long as they keep promising the bereaved that they'll be reunited with the deceased in some mythical afterlife, count me out.

Honestly out of all you family, there would be very few people that most would like to be reunited with ! It does make me laugh to see people placed next to each other for all eternity and didn't speak for years with each other when alive :)
 

toratoratora

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There’s little doubt the Irish branch of the roman catholic church is withering away under the bored apathetic gaze of the current generation to the hostile glee of the older generation. Seminaries are barren despite heavy investment in public relations and the recruitment of a handful of poor fools trying to hide from the world makes headline news in the religious press. The dearth of men willing to submit to the numbing dogmatic bureaucracy of the centrally ruled Vatican city-state has led to estimates predicting the number of Irish priests dropping to “a few hundred” by 2042.

This has led to a slow but persistent increase in the demand for secular ceremonies:-

Godless funerals thrive in ?post-Catholic? Ireland - Washington Post

Personally I find roman catholic ceremonies painful especially at emotive events like funerals. But I do like (a little) tradition and the idea employing a professional with a master’s in "bereavement studies" to conduct a ceremony with popular music just leaves me cold. Perhaps this is just a remanent of cultural Catholicism and will fade in time.

How do other posters feel about non-religious ceremonies? Has anyone attended one?
God or religious thinking doesn't form any part of my day-to-day life so non-religious ceremonies are the default setting for me. So why would I insert a third party, especially a third party that is as morally reprehensive as the catholic church) into the equation to officiate over and endorse something that is absolutely none of their business? My own wedding was a civil ceremony. Absolutely refused point blank to go along with the status-quo and have a church wedding when both my partner and I feel that it's absolute codswallop. When our first child is born later this year, we'll have a naming party for our family and close friends. We'll do our damnest to get the kid enrolled into an Educate together school (thankfully there is one in the locality), and won't be getting him/her confirmed. When I shake off this mortal coil, I'd like my family and friends to have a party and some sort of humanist ceremony if they want. Although it won't really matter a jot to me what happens then as I'll have snuffed it.
 

Frosty1

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I was at a funeral yesterday, and the singer and songs choosen was fabulous. Catholic funerals have moved to been a celebration of a life rather than mourning the death.
We where in extra vision and there was this aussie in there and she told us that they had a party when the person died. I never knew that. Thought it was a bit odd. Lol
 

Frosty1

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There’s little doubt the Irish branch of the roman catholic church is withering away under the bored apathetic gaze of the current generation to the hostile glee of the older generation. Seminaries are barren despite heavy investment in public relations and the recruitment of a handful of poor fools trying to hide from the world makes headline news in the religious press. The dearth of men willing to submit to the numbing dogmatic bureaucracy of the centrally ruled Vatican city-state has led to estimates predicting the number of Irish priests dropping to “a few hundred” by 2042.

This has led to a slow but persistent increase in the demand for secular ceremonies:-

Godless funerals thrive in ?post-Catholic? Ireland - Washington Post

Personally I find roman catholic ceremonies painful especially at emotive events like funerals. But I do like (a little) tradition and the idea employing a professional with a master’s in "bereavement studies" to conduct a ceremony with popular music just leaves me cold. Perhaps this is just a remanent of cultural Catholicism and will fade in time.

How do other posters feel about non-religious ceremonies? Has anyone attended one?
I find them boring, melodramatic, hideous and pathetic. I HATE them. I dont mind non religious cermonies, my parents got married in one. It just felt like there was something missing. It doesnt feel like a real marriage to me. I would prefer a church of ireland wedding tbh.
 

Cruimh

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Am I right in thinking that the RCC will allow people to be buried in Consecrated ground without there necessarily being a Church service? Would a Priest be in attendance at the interment? I ask because I watched Mafia's Greatest Hits - Carmine Galente was refused a Funeral Mass but was buried in Saint John's Cemetary, Queens. That was the Church's choice - but can nominal Catholics make that choice?
 

LamportsEdge

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Galente had money.
 

johnfás

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Am I right in thinking that the RCC will allow people to be buried in Consecrated ground without there necessarily being a Church service? Would a Priest be in attendance at the interment? I ask because I watched Mafia's Greatest Hits - Carmine Galente was refused a Funeral Mass but was buried in Saint John's Cemetary, Queens. That was the Church's choice - but can nominal Catholics make that choice?
Church cemeteries are private property so its unsurprising that they are reserved for those who have a funeral in the church or are otherwise associated with the church. The same is true of most COI graveyards. You don't see that many Catholic Churches with graveyards attached, certainly around Dublin / Wicklow anyway.
 

Cruimh

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Church cemeteries are private property so its unsurprising that they are reserved for those who have a funeral in the church or are otherwise associated with the church. The same is true of most COI graveyards. You don't see that many Catholic Churches with graveyards attached, certainly around Dublin / Wicklow anyway.
Doesn't answer the question John. I know they are private property etc.

I was wondering about the necessity for a Church Service.
 

Windowshopper

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Oct 14, 2011
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There’s little doubt the Irish branch of the roman catholic church is withering away under the bored apathetic gaze of the current generation to the hostile glee of the older generation. Seminaries are barren despite heavy investment in public relations and the recruitment of a handful of poor fools trying to hide from the world makes headline news in the religious press. The dearth of men willing to submit to the numbing dogmatic bureaucracy of the centrally ruled Vatican city-state has led to estimates predicting the number of Irish priests dropping to “a few hundred” by 2042.

This has led to a slow but persistent increase in the demand for secular ceremonies:-

Godless funerals thrive in ?post-Catholic? Ireland - Washington Post

Personally I find roman catholic ceremonies painful especially at emotive events like funerals. But I do like (a little) tradition and the idea employing a professional with a master’s in "bereavement studies" to conduct a ceremony with popular music just leaves me cold. Perhaps this is just a remanent of cultural Catholicism and will fade in time.

How do other posters feel about non-religious ceremonies? Has anyone attended one?
Just a note with the weddings: their might be an overlap between those couples who had a secular wedding ceremony and later a religious one (I know of one such couple but I am unsure of how popular this).

While not religious myself I have to disagree with your assessment of Catholic funerals. I tend to find the ritualism of lets call it the funeral cycle (gathering at the house, the removal, the rosaries,the Masses, the burial, and post-funeral meal) to be quiet comforting.
 
Last edited:

Frosty1

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Church cemeteries are private property so its unsurprising that they are reserved for those who have a funeral in the church or are otherwise associated with the church. The same is true of most COI graveyards. You don't see that many Catholic Churches with graveyards attached, certainly around Dublin / Wicklow anyway.
All the catholic churches here have graveyards. Infact every church has a graveyard.
 

benroe

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All of this reminds me of the fun I had trying to marry a catholic in the mid eighties.
My fiancee needed dispensation from a bishop to marry a non catholic and I had to be "interviewed" to decide my suitability.
I will never forget being ushered into a dusty book laden office by a weaselly old preist, his demeaning attitude and his open disgust for my lack of beleif.
"What religion are you" he asked
Im atheist
Your what?!
Atheist
Your a pagan
No atheist
Your a heathen
No atheist
You do realise that there is no hope of getting dispensation if you say your an atheist
What if I were a pagan
I doubt it
Heathen?
He shrugged his shoulders
Right I said put down heathen, and thats what he did.
Needless to say on the morning of our wedding we had no dispensation, the local preist refused to marry us, but my now wifes uncle a missionary preist married us anyway.
 

Frosty1

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They are daft like that. Thats why I refuse to get married in that church. They arent gonna tell me how to run my life. Run along lovies.
 
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