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Why do JWs have huge lunches / dinners after funerals?

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Guest Nicole

When my grandmother died, they decided to hold a huge lunch at a restaurant.

Same thing happened when a cousin died.

I heard this is common for JW. Why?

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Yes why not?  This is a good opportunity to talk about this person's long journey.
Surely relatives and friends are there - and you could very discreet, but well prepared, one or the other  NOT - Witnesses tell of the wonderful HOPE and comfort
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5 hours ago, Nicole said:

common for JW

Not sure how large the lunch would be, but there are some quite basic reasons in the case of a reception hosted by bereaved Jehovah's Witnesses ion the occasion of a funeral of a loved one who has served Jehovah faithfully.

"A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth." Ecc7:1. The remembrance of a live well-lived in faithfulness is entirely appropriate.

"Moreover, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who are sleeping in death, so that you may not sorrow as the rest do who have no hope." 1Thess. 4:13. It is a time to comfort one another with the wonderful resurrection hope and forms part of the healing of the sting death causes.

"But sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone who demands of you a reason for the hope you have, but doing so with a mild temper and deep respect." 1Pet.3:15. It is an opportunity to share discreetly the hope of the deceased with unbeleiving friends and relatives of the deceased, where tasteful and appropriate. On occasion, this is an express wish of the deceased.

"Follow the course of hospitality". Rom12:13. Funerals are lengthy and stressful affairs for a variety of reasons. People travel considerable distances to attend at short notice as death does not come by appointment. The provision of hospitality is virtually incumbent.

At the very least, hospitality arrangements that follow the principle expressed by Jesus at Luke 10:42: "A few things, though, are needed, or just one" are quite appropriate in connection with Jehovah's Witness funerals, regardless of the status of the deceased

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12 hours ago, Nicole said:

When my grandmother died, they decided to hold a huge lunch at a restaurant.

Same thing happened when a cousin died.

I heard this is common for JW. Why?

Because it makes sense and is considerate. Some people have come from afar. Some are in no shape to cook. I don't think it is unique to Witnesses. I think it is more common than otherwise.

In cases of family, I remember in my youth people lamenting that the only time the whole family got together was for funerals., as though love itself would not suffice, but only an obligation. I finally decided to run with it. It is what it is. Death in this system of things is a natural course of life. Use it as a metronome, to reliably bring everyone together from time to time. 

Kill two birds with one stone. Bring everyone together and use the power of family to help the bereaved one heal. Stay the course, and the time will come when there is no death.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Nicole said:

I heard this is common for JW. Why?

I think its a cultural thing too. Some countries do this, others don't so much.

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It is not common where I live. If it is done people might say we are imitating customs that are foreign.  Like the large funeral wakes held in  countries like Japan and Africa.   The programmes usually say the family wants to spend the period after the funeral in quiet reflection. Some family members visit with the relatives at the residence, but the majority of attendees go their own way.

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Yes, customs are quite different in different countries.

In Ireland weddings and funerals are usually accompanied by 5 days of very heavy drinking Irish whiskey.

The difference between an Irish Wedding, and an Irish Funeral is ....

(wait for it ...)

.... one less drunk.

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On 7/9/2018 at 3:29 AM, Nicole said:

When my grandmother died, they decided to hold a huge lunch at a restaurant.

Same thing happened when a cousin died.

I heard this is common for JW. Why?

As to my knowledge, custom of give hospitality to people who came to funeral (to give them food and drink) is not originated in JW community. As to many other "worldly" and pagan customs (that JW rejected or modify or copy) this is also completely  "worldly" custom connected with dead person. 

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When my aunt died, the entire Catholoc family converged on my uncle's house after the funeral, where they ate, laughed, visited and caught up on family. Meanwhile, he lay inconsolable on the couch, and was left alone. I recall thinking what a horrible spectacle it was. But now I think it is one of those things which must be. The best way to help anyone cope with such a blow is for family to gather around. He sees that normal life continues, and in time, it may be a long time, he joins in.

And no, I did not witness to him. I would have had to have done so before everyone, none of whom were Witnesses, and I did not have the comfort level and freeness of speech that I have today.

Today I would have done it, even if it was before all. It might even have been better that way.

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This reminds me of an episode of only fools and horses ( @Gone Away will probably know what I'm talking about) where Del Boy and Rodney  arrive at one of these funeral parties (wake) dressed up as Batman and Robbin, making a grand entrance busting through the door singing the  "dadadada batman" theme song and spraying all the guests (dressed in mourning attire) with funny string. One of the characters forgot to tell them the guy had actually died the day before and so the fancy dress party had been cancelled.. I wish I could find the scene on youtube, it is really very funny, but I don't think it's there...  The best of British humour in my opinion....

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Ever since I can remember it has been the custom here in Australia for an announcement to be made after the funeral inviting mourners back to the home of the deceased or close relative for refreshments.  It's always just been coffee/tea and small savouries such as quartered sandwiches, sausage rolls, pastries, etc., not a full-on lunch.  In the past several years, the trend has been for these refreshments to be served in the kingdom hall straight after the service.  I think it's a lovely idea, enabling mourners to pass on condolences to relatives, and mingle with brothers and sisters they may not have seen for years and reminisce over shared memories.  

Since when has hospitality been a "worldly" custom?  

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4 hours ago, SuzA said:

Since when has hospitality been a "worldly" custom?  

Since the disfellowshipping arrangement, necessary as it is ... became the exercise in sustained and clueless extremism of applied cruelty it is today.

"Worldly people", as a general rule, when a child is disobedient, do not cut off it's head ... figuratively speaking, and in a very "loving way" ... of course.

 

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When I was visited by two elders because of my association with an adult child who no longer was professing to be a Witness and whose life choices meant she would have been disfellowshipped if only they could contact her, I asked, "When I am old and need help will you be over here taking care of me?  Because I know my daughter will."

The subject was never brought up again.  And I'm still in good standing, but then my congregation elders have never been hardliners. 

 

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1 hour ago, SuzA said:

Since when has hospitality been a "worldly" custom? 

We have two separate things Suza:

1. Hospitality in general sense and understanding

This one sort of behavior of humans is human like, and all groups of all kind show it, it is not characteristic of  specific group, atheist, religious or "worldly shape" people :)   

2. Hospitality to people who came to funeral

This is connected not only with mere hospitality people want to show to others, but is connected to folkloric, custom, beliefs, superstition that is in relation with death and dead. And here we have great variety of details in customs around the world. 

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Just now, SuzA said:

The subject was never brought up again.

Like your firm stand in front them. But keep in mind how they not insist on this issue because, from other side, teaching says how children must take care on old parents, that means in all kind of help, physically,  emotionally, and with money. As for spiritual help that would be primary task only for elders, especially because your daughter is ex JW, and by that, according to WT instruction  she must not, or better to say, You must not speak about Bible with her, nothing that is about so called spiritual matters. Sad, sad.   

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7 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

2. Hospitality to people who came to funeral

This is connected not only with mere hospitality people want to show to others, but is connected to folkloric, custom, beliefs, superstition that is in relation with death and dead. And here we have great variety of details in customs around the world. 

So far, you have not demonstrated in what way post-funeral hospitality amongst Witnesses is in any shape or form bound up in superstitious or pagan practices, or that it is a "worldly" practice.

"Worldly" weddings are also "connected to folkloric, custom, beliefs, superstition . . .   And here we have great variety of customs around the world."  We don't eschew weddings simply because some of the customs worldly people include originate in superstitious practices.  We omit what would be offensive to Jehovah.  Likewise with funerals and association thereafter.

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49 minutes ago, SuzA said:

So far, you have not demonstrated in what way post-funeral hospitality amongst Witnesses is in any shape or form bound up in superstitious or pagan practices, or that it is a "worldly" practice.

"Worldly" weddings are also "connected to folkloric, custom, beliefs, superstition . . .   And here we have great variety of customs around the world."  We don't eschew weddings simply because some of the customs worldly people include originate in superstitious practices.  We omit what would be offensive to Jehovah.  Likewise with funerals and association thereafter.

"When my grandmother died, they decided to hold a huge lunch at a restaurant. Same thing happened when a cousin died. I heard this is common for JW. Why?", by Nikole.

Merely my comment was on; "I heard this is common to JW". Inviting people to take food and drink in such circumstances is not JW invention. That is all what is matter here, as from my side of notice. In our country, preparing food and drink inside late person home with less or more quantity, or invite people to restaurant is common practice. Also some JW people doing the same in lesser or bigger scale.

I was many times on JW funeral, but only twice was (as recall)  in restaurant because people was invited me. One reason is they traveled from far away, from another town for funeral. So they need some refreshment before back home, or they were friends, or are little closer to family, not only bro/sis to that family. 

Well, hope that you will understand how there is no need, from me, to demonstrate what JW practice (that various from cong to cong and from country to country) on funeral customs are similar, same or not, to other, non JW people sorts and reasons for customs.

As for your mentioned of wedding. Symbols of ring, wedding (white) dress, cake (just to mention few) , which is normal for JW weddings have deep connection to paganism (what ever paganism means for modern day people)  or/and customs that are "worldly", not necessary bad.

1 hour ago, SuzA said:

We omit what would be offensive to Jehovah.

Ohhh, "offensive to JHVH". And that covers all answers, :)) and gives justification for doing or not doing something. Great!

In old time God give Law by which Israel man can be Master of slaves, to be in Bigamy relationship, have to Kill all enemy of True Worship, to Stone their non-obedient children, etc. And God blessed that Law, regulating peoples behavior, customs, practice and folkloric of Jew and non Jew who accept their religion, of God's Chosen People, under this Perfect and Everlasting Commands.

In modern time God said; You must Turn the other chick, Love your enemy, Have one Woman, No Slaves, ..... but you have to Shunning your children who are Witness no more( no phone calls), and not to say "simple Hello" to some ex JW on the street, etc.

 Standards of what is/are "offensive" and what is/are "pleasant"  to JHVH looks very strange. :))

 

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1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

 

As for your mentioned of wedding. Symbols of ring, wedding (white) dress, cake (just to mention few) , which is normal for JW weddings have deep connection to paganism (what ever paganism means for modern day people)  or/and customs that are "worldly", not necessary bad.

Just because (as a general rule ...) prostitutes and murderers wear shoes ... does notmean that everyone that wears shoes are prostitutes and murderers.

Although it would be imitative and suggestive to wear a brown shirt during the Nazi reign ... does not mean that today wearing a brown shirt indicates one is a Nazi.

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A little supplement:

The terminology used by the WT corporation, which should to guide the reader, member in direction of a "correct" choice, uses terms such as; spiritually mature Christian, Christian life, non-Christian customs (meaning there must be also Christian customs, and this means in other words "JW customs"), worldly customs, pagan customs, and the like.

General rule by WT say; all that have pagan origin must be avoid and rejected, to not imitate or implement in JW life.

General rule by JW people say; all that not brake your conscience or Bible understanding you can do, but will be good if you ask elder for opinion and advice if you are not sure what WT literature said about. (of course some JW person  have understanding of same text in publication that is different or even opposite of some other JW member)

General rule by WT say; "worldly" way of living is not what is for Christian aka JW. So, JW must avoid all what is "worldly". To lie, kill, steal, looking woman, dirty words, drinking, be lazy, be fan or member of sport club, cheer for the soccer team, go to coffee with "worldly" aka non-JW colleague except if it is for Bible conversation  and other questionable acts.   

:))

 

 

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