J. Witness funeral


#1

Recently a sister of a long lost friend died, (I saw it in thye obits in the paper). The obit said that there would be no funeral, or memorial service just a gathering for friends at their house.

Is this the usual Jehovah Witness practice following death? I think that they like SDAs beleive in “soul sleep” when you are dead you are dead. Like the SDAs like to insult Our Lady “she is dead and rotting in the ground”.

What gives?


#2

I have never been to a JW funeral…so I can’t answer your question concerning that.

The idea of “soul sleep” between JW and SDA is different. SDA’ s from what I understand do believe humans have a soul…but it is not aware at death…“She is not dead but sleeps”…SDA accept there is something…eternal in man…but it is unconscious at death until called forth by God…

JW’s on the other hand do not believe man is eternal…but that his life ceases at death…he’s not “sleeping” he’s dead…a subtle distinction I guess but one that needs to be made.

That’s what I understand…if I’m wrong, please someone correct me.


#3

Actually, JWs do believe the body sleeps. It’s sleeping until resurrection comes. They belief dead is as if they were sleeping because several bible verses say the dead are “resting” ie, when Lazarus died and Jesus said he was resting or sleeping.

Regarding the OP’s question, JWs have a type of funeral. It’s not a funeral per say, but it’s like one of their meetings dedicated to the dead person’s life. I found a link from the watchtower, but I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for.

Customs


#4

Here’s another link related to the state of death

Sleeping

take a look at the 3rd paragraph. It states

The Bible explains death in familiar rather than mysterious terms. For example, it repeatedly likens dying to ‘falling asleep,’ and it describes dead people as “sleeping in death.” (Psalm 13:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; John 11:11-14) Death is also identified as an “enemy.” (1 Corinthians 15:26) More important, the Bible enables us to understand why death is like a sleep, why death afflicts mankind, and how this enemy will finally be defeated.


#5

Is this the usual Jehovah Witness practice following death?

It’s really a matter of preference.
Growing up jw, I went to memorial services at the Kingdom Hall or outright funerals at funeral homes. What you describe reminds me more of a wake, which I have never been to a jw one before.
As has been described, the speech or talk given ususally follows along the line of a public sermon given on a Sunday, the exception being that they throw in a little bit of info about the person who has died. The occasion is used to talk about their belief in the resurrection of the dead and the Paradise earth etc.


#6

The occasion is also commonly used to proselytize the non-JWs in the audience. It is also quite common for there to be JW literature available and even distributed during the funeral service a pitch for a Bible Study made by the person giving the funeral talk.

Jeff S.
www.catholicxjw.com


#7

My sister-in-law by a previous marriage was a Jehovah’s Witness. She died terribly young, at age 35 I believe. Her remains were cremated and the memorial service was held at a Kingdom Hall. My understanding from her bereaved husband is that the Watchtower provides a selection pre-scripted messages for the designated speaker to choose from. Whomever leads the service dresses the message up to personalize it on behalf of the deceased. They do of course take pains to stress that their hope is not that the soul of the departed has already been received into Heaven, but rather that the departed is ‘asleep in the hope of a future resurrection’. I didn’t get the impression that the funeral itself was exploited as an opportunity to proselytize. It was tasteful, conducted with all due seriousness and dignity.


#8

I didn’t get the impression that the funeral itself was exploited as an opportunity to proselytize. It was tasteful, conducted with all due seriousness and dignity.

That is good. It could be that the proselytizing aspect depends on which elder is doing the funeral talk and what the family of the deceased demands. However, I have been to quite a few that have been used as opportunities to prosyletize and it has turned many off. This is not surprising since JWs are taught to use the obits in the newspapers to find people who have recently lost loved ones so they can visit them and offer them a “Bible” study.

Jeff S.
www.catholicxjw.com


#9

That is good. It could be that the proselytizing aspect depends on which elder is doing the funeral talk and what the family of the deceased demands. However, I have been to quite a few that have been used as opportunities to prosyletize and it has turned many off. This is not surprising since JWs are taught to use the obits in the newspapers to find people who have recently lost loved ones so they can visit them and offer them a “Bible” study.

oy you Had to remind me didn’t you!
Yes, I can attest to this as a couple of years before I left this was how I got my “time” in.
No I am not proud of it, but that’s what you did.


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