I missed posting last week. It was a busy week for me, which included a funeral, among other things. It was a catholic funeral that took place at a church that I would describe as progressive.
This church does have a cross at the center, but it's far bigger than the Jesus, and shaped more like a plus, so as not to conjure up an execution device quite so much. The Jesus, and all other statues, are left their natural wood color to avoid portraying a white Jesus without exactly saying he was brown either.
The ceremony was short, and had no kneeling. In fact, there were no kneelers. The whole experience was not unpleasant. The priest never mentioned fire or brimstone, but of course mentioned heaven. The catholics I know believe it is wrong to propose that they know who is in hell, but are happy to clam that they know who is in heaven. According to the priest, the latter was the case for my recently deceased acquaintance.
This priest continued to explain what "we believe" about the afterlife because he is an intelligent man who knows a funeral will contain non-christians. Then he got to the one part that really struck me. After explaining that she will now be spending infinite time in an infinitely pleasurable place, he went on to say that this does not assuage our grief.
It doesn't? Maybe he could have elaborated on that. You could argue that our grief is for ourselves because we can't hang out with her for a while. Sure. But even then, how callous is that? The best thing that could possibly happen to anyone, just happened to this woman, and instead of celebrating for her, I'm sad for me?
I've heard it argued that not knowing that you know something is the same thing as not knowing that thing. I might have agreed except for this particular piece of knowledge. Every christian I know, knows that life is unlimited, but lives like it is not. They worry about death, of themselves and their loved ones, as much as a person who accepts that all lives will end one day.
I know there are a few suicide bombers who are exceptions to the rule, but it seems to me that most theists think that they think they're immortal, but live like they're not. As for me, I say memento mori, but of course I said nothing of the sort at the funeral.