Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Life Celebrants. . .

In one of my favorite old movies, the elderly head to a special place when it gets, well, to that point in life.  The life center where you pass on is filled with wonderful images and music to send you on your way as the the injection aids the life to slowly leave the body.  It is, of course, Soylent Green, and the horror of it all, well, in case you have never seen the movie, I will simply say that the purpose of dying is not just to remove one hungry mouth from the great need of feeding the masses.  My point is that death is transformed from something awful or terrible into something wonderful and peaceful.  It is something comforting amid the discomfort that is life.

Well, something about this story of "Life Celebrants" reminded me of the way death was changed in that old movie and of the way folks today are searching to know what to do with death -- when they have no religious faith in which to frame it.  The truth is it all sounds sick and the idea of  life celebrant helping us transition the death of our loved ones makes me gag. And I particularly object to funeral homes pushing these on people (no, you say, they are not pushing these but merely providing a service?  Except that these folks allow the funeral home industry to control everything and not just the remains.  Lord knows, I have faced enough funeral homes with their own idea of what needs to be done at the funeral to know that clergy are often seen as outsiders to a process and service which is seen as best handled, in all its facets, by professional insiders.

Well, you read it and tell me I am going off the deep end needlessly.... again! Celebrants make funerals more personal...


Anonymous said...

Life Celebrant O'Brien charges
$200 to 300 dollars for his story-
telling. This is a travesty for
every pastor who conducts funerals
for his church members at no charge.

Another variant of this approach is
the "Celebration of Life" which
funeral homes offer. There is no
worship service at the funeral home
just a "meet and greet" event. Here
there are videos on the deceased
as well as photos and keepsake
items on display.

Anonymous said...

Yes, these so-called celebrations of life are sickening. No hope. No forgiveness of sins. No Christ. There's nothing like a good Christian funeral with hymns, Bible, sermon, and rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Experience has taught me that 'celebration of life' is a euphemism for hiding from death and keeping it as far away from as possible. And so instead of a funeral, which causes us to face the reality of our mortality, we have a farce, a myoptic euology in place of the declaration of the fulfillment of God's promise of life eternal.

These faux funerals are not only a product of a faithless godless culture but of a culture that views anything that makes us unhappy as a sin, even the healthy reactions to our circumstances as grief, and mourning.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer to celebrate my life while I am still around to enjoy the event.