Attending a non-Catholic funeral

Recently I went to the funeral of a deceased neighbor. It wasn’t a Catholic funeral, and yet it wasn’t an overly religious funeral. There weren’t any Scriptural readings, only the Protestant Lord’s prayer and hymns and it wasn’t even conducted by a minister. Was it a sin for me to attend this sort of service, mortally sinful?

Thanks, God bless.

Why would you think this is sinful?

You could attend Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or agnostic funerals. You’re there to remember the dead, not harp on their religion. Did I sin for attending a Sunday Anglican service with the protestant side of my family? Of course not, though I didn’t receive communion or fulfill my Sunday obligation either.

Your attendance at a Sunday Anglican service is an entirely different question than that of attendance at a non-Catholic funeral.

No it’s not wrong. I attended a Buddhist wake once and there were monks and everything. We are present to pay our respect to the dead.

We are called to love our neighbour which means when a friend or loved one who dies and isn’t from the Catholic tradition, it is ok to attend that person’s funeral. Funerals are a time to celebrate the life of the individual, say good bye and offer support to a people in need.

When it comes to attending a non-catholic service which is not a funeral, that too is perfectly acceptable. If it is a non Christian service meaning the service belongs to the Buddhist, Muslim, Ba’al religions just to name a few religions, it is never ok to participate. It is ok to attend and observe because I believe to love our neighbour, we also need to understand who our neighbour is, what they believe etc. Jewish services, one can participate in the prayers because Christianity is derived from Judaism and therefore it is the same God that is found in the same religions. (I suggest anyone who wishes to participate in a Jewish service to speak with the rabbi and their priest ahead of time since there might be some things that a non-jewish person may not be allowed to join in)

When it comes to attending other Christian denominations such as the baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Anglicain churches etc, it is again permissible to participate 99%. Meaning as long as you don’t join them in communion, everything considering it is the same God, same Christian teachings though taught differently in some respects. I suggest one visits an established denominations such as one of these because their accountability and their religious beliefs are more established.

And here I thought they were a time to offer prayers and sacrifices on behalf of the dead so that they might be released from Purgatory.

The point is attending the protestant service was in no way sinful.

And it can’t be both?

Absolutely NOT sinful!

No, it’s what we can impart to the deceased. We attend to give evidence if we knew him, recall his good works and disposition, and to plead for his case at his last judgement. We give him the parting gift of prayer, and ask our Holy Mother to guide him to his last wonderful destination. Regardless what religion, or lack of, we look forward to sharing heaven with our brothers and sisters.

Participate in all sincerity and respect what is holy and in common to everyone, otherwise discretion is required…

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