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Old 07-26-2007, 11:03 PM
 
743 posts, read 2,071,099 times
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I just attended a dear friend's father's funeral, and open casket, as usual....just like all the other funerals I've attended my entire life. There's a kneeler beside the casket to say a prayer for the deceased while the body is there (clasped hands around the rosary). Pretty normal to me.

But, another friend of ours who is Protestant was really "freaked out" with seeing the body there. She has never seen an open caseket and she says traditionally, Protestants don't have that. Who knew?

I told her not only do catholics have open caskets, but some people even touch the body or kiss the body.....or even sob over the body....and sometimes talk to the body.....she thought it was really strange.

Of course, everyone is fully aware it is just a body there....the soul of the person has gone to the after life, but it's done, just the same.

Just wondering if open/closed caskets stem from religious custom? Or not?
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:05 PM
 
Location: South Florida
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My step brother had an open casket funeral. If anything, our family is protestant. I'll never forget seeing him that last time.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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Personally, I think that the entire process of embalming is kind of creepy.
Maybe this is just the hippie talking, but when I die I want to return to the Earth, just burn me up and dump my ashes in the ocean or a forest. Our bodies are natural things that should become part of nature, plus there's no point to them once we die, why dress them up like wax figures and put them in fancy boxes so they can exist forever? Our bodies aren't supposed to exist once we die.
Just my two cents, spend them however you'd like.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:14 PM
 
28 posts, read 15,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth ann View Post
I just attended a dear friend's father's funeral, and open casket, as usual....just like all the other funerals I've attended my entire life. There's a kneeler beside the casket to say a prayer for the deceased while the body is there (clasped hands around the rosary). Pretty normal to me.

But, another friend of ours who is Protestant was really "freaked out" with seeing the body there. She has never seen an open caseket and she says traditionally, Protestants don't have that. Who knew?
Eh, most of my family are Baptists and the funerals have always been open casket.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:25 PM
 
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Well, for my input, i've been to too many funerals in my short 34 year life. I've been to both Catholic funerals (including Mass) and Protestant funerals, and even a Lutheran funeral. I think maybe it's just your friends perception because at most of them, except where there was severe damage to the body, they've been open casket.

As far as I know, that's the only criteria I've ever heard - whether the body was "acceptable" to be open or closed casket. I don't know of any religious doctrine that would permit/prohibit either way. It just may be whichever makes the families most comfortable.

The first funeral I ever attended was for my grandmother in '82. I was 9. My mother told me if I would touch her it would help with my grief. Well, in reality it probably made it worse and scarred me for life. I haven't been able to bring myself to touch another dead person ever.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:13 AM
 
Location: South Seattle Suburbs
3,350 posts, read 5,953,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltaire View Post
Personally, I think that the entire process of embalming is kind of creepy.
Maybe this is just the hippie talking, but when I die I want to return to the Earth, just burn me up and dump my ashes in the ocean or a forest.
Count me in, then, as another hippie!
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:22 AM
 
7,099 posts, read 24,496,068 times
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It may depend on the section of country. But in the South, I think it's a common practice to have an open casket even in non-church surroundings.

More and more people are telling their families that the don't want one. I have have already told my husband if he has me embalmed, with make-up and put on display......I will find a way to come back and haunt him, BAD. He knows I mean it.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:26 AM
 
Location: ARK-KIN-SAW
3,434 posts, read 8,943,325 times
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Ive never been to a closed casket funeral, and as Mams said, it would only be becasue the "body" wasnt acceptable to view. Id say my family for the most part-ie uncles, aunts etc were southern baptists, so Idk about it being anything religious, I have also saw relatives hug, kiss, touch the person that had passes away in the casket...guess Ive never been to a Catholic funeral, because Ive never heard of a "kneeler".
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Old 07-27-2007, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
3,490 posts, read 2,515,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arguy1973 View Post
Ive never been to a closed casket funeral, and as Mams said, it would only be becasue the "body" wasnt acceptable to view. Id say my family for the most part-ie uncles, aunts etc were southern baptists, so Idk about it being anything religious, I have also saw relatives hug, kiss, touch the person that had passes away in the casket...guess Ive never been to a Catholic funeral, because Ive never heard of a "kneeler".
I think maybe the OP was a regional thing. I have been to tons of funerals (large family, and my dad is a minister so he performed alot of them). All of these were Protestant, and with the exception of a body not being exceptable to view the casket is open and people do touch or kiss the body.

My mom is from the south and I think Protestant southerners are more open and expressive at funerals than northerners...
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Old 07-27-2007, 08:24 AM
 
Location: ARK-KIN-SAW
3,434 posts, read 8,943,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffncandace View Post
I think maybe the OP was a regional thing. I have been to tons of funerals (large family, and my dad is a minister so he performed alot of them). All of these were Protestant, and with the exception of a body not being exceptable to view the casket is open and people do touch or kiss the body.

My mom is from the south and I think Protestant southerners are more open and expressive at funerals than northerners...
Actually here in the South there used to be a custom of a family member "sitting" up with the dead all night. That tradition has faded away..but

YouTube - Sittin' Up With The Dead-Ray Stevens

I just couldnt help posting this...
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