The Value of an Ethical Culture Memorial Service
One of my clearest experiences about the value of an Ethical Culture memorial, as opposed to how some other funeral services are conducted cameseveral years ago. A friend who had been a member of the Brooklyn Society, knewshe was dying of cancer. We talked about my conducting her memorial service, butshe died before we could fully make such plans. For her parents, whom I didn't know very well,it was absolutely necessary that there be a Catholic mass. But the mass had nothing to do with Lorraine.
The service had nothing to do with Lorraine other than mentioning her name a half dozen times. The priest, who had only met her once or twice, said things about her that just weren't true and not much else about her.
One notable aspect of the service to me was that no one cried.
Later, at the luncheon reception, I asked if I could read the eulogy I had written. I knew I might never get to read it, but it was my way of remembering her. Her adult children were pleased to have me read it. I was a bit concerned about what her parents' reaction would be.
After I read the piece, which was truly about Lorraine, the wonderful parts of her, and the not so wonderful parts of her, and some of the ideas we had talked about in the preceding weeks, there was not a dry eye in the house. Her parents both came and thanked me for reading it.
I realized the difference was very simple. The Catholic service had not been about Lorraine. The piece I read was, and gave people a chance to grieve with their own memories of her.
Submitted by SusanRose on Tue, 2007-10-16 17:54.
I am glad that you were able to be of great service to the memories of the deceased and to the feelings of her family in this case. I am also struck by how much better you seem to have acted in comparison to the priest. You said that the priest, \"said things about her (the deceased) that just weren\'t true.\" Did he think that no one would notice? If you noticed, i would think that family members and other close friends would notice the inaccuracies. I am thinking that he did not want to take the time and make the effort, to find out the best and most truthful things to say. I really hate that kind of behavior. And again, I am very glad that you acted in the manner you did. Best Wishes and Efforts! Scott(y)