Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Goodbye Keith

I attended the funeral of my step-grandfather, Keith, yesterday afternoon and it reaffirmed my belief that organised religion is a load of bollocks.

No disrespect to Keith here, he was a great man who lived a pretty full 88 years. Keith was part of my life for more than 25 years, I am 29 now, so I have a great many memories of him. I just take issue with the religion he chose to follow, Catholicism.

I haven't been to a proper church service in at least 12 years, the only times I go into a church these days is for weddings and funerals, with the occasional baptism. The services are just as I remembered them, more importance is given to the procedure and symbolism than to following God's word. Most, if not all, people reading this blog will know I don't give a toss about God, but isn't the point of following a religion to follow God's word and live the way he/she/it proscribes rather than imitating the actions of his supposed son.

In the middle of mourning the huge video screen in the church showing the words of the hymns and psalms gave me some mirth. It was quite funny to see a church full of people (mostly 60-plus year olds) singing along like at a karaoke bar staring at this giant screen.

And the geek in me noticed another thing, the slides being shown on the giant karaoke screen had the quality of a Powerpoint 1.0 presentation. Great big Roman font, crappy clip art images (I was looking for some of the 'LOL Jesus' pictures) and the left margin being quite fluid. It was great work. You would think that an organisation as rich and vast as the Catholic Church might be able to hire some graphic design/marketroids to give them some better presentations.

I will end this entry with a question to you all... Do you think it is hypocritical or disingenuous for people who are not religious in any way to partake in Holy Communion just because they attend a service?


James said...

It's beyond hypocritical - it's actually a sin. You're not meant to receive communion unless you've received the sacrament of first holy communion for a start (ruling out non-catholics). You're not meant to receive the sacrament (communion) if you haven't been regularly attending church. The caveat is that you can attend confession / reconciliation, atone / repent for your sins and you'll be able to receive communion again.

As for the quality of the 'presentation' the church I infrequently attend has handwritten overheard projector slides and some printed ones. It's down to the individual churches (which are usually broke as) to what they do. The Catholic church organisation is clearly quite well off, but this is supported by what are essentially taxes on parishes / dioceses to fund larger programmes (or largesse).

Nick said...

In my opinion, taking holy communion is only for those that believe in it. The pressure of receiving communion because you are there is real and family members that may believe might feel hurt/angered by your decision not to have communion because you may have been brought up with that religion. If you don't follow that religion, whether you have it or not is inconsequential. But, it is only a sin if you believe in the religion in the first place.

I'm surprised with the amount of money it costs to die that there aren't some funeral homes that could put on more of a show. Most crematoriums I have attended would have plenty of room to have a screen to show a decent PowerPoint presentation. What a great way to send off someone special - maybe it is a good business idea. It certainly gives a different meaning to the "Blue Screen of Death".

Stuart Anthony Fenech said...

Well, given that I am also not religious... I think it is acceptable to partake in Holy Communion in a church service. If you are in a church and it is offered, I think it is best to go with the flow.

In fairness to the Catholic Church, they are not exactly happy clappers. Despite the pomp surrounding the pope, most local Catholic churches are usually fairly modest. Huge video screens are unusual. I am not surprised that the presentation was technically mediocre.

I guess many people find comfort in the hymns, procedures and symbolism.