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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, 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.

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.   

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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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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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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