Making Sign of Cross when Non-Catholic Deceased

When viewing a deceased Catholic prior to the funeral, it has always been my understanding that we should make the sign of the cross and say a prayer for the soul of the deceased. What should be done when the deceased and others present are not Catholic?

If one is Catholic then one should do exactly the same thing regardless of anyone else’s religion.

:thumbsup: I agree and that`s what I do.

At the time I was thinking about them not believing in praying for the dead so when viewing the deceased I did not make the sign of the cross. Then I wondered if I should have done so to express my faith.

I have walked up to open caskets, knelt on the bare floor, said my prayer, made my sign of the cross, and had most people in the room look at me like I was crazy.

No matter. We think it is good and proper to pray for the dead, and the deceased is who I came to see anyway.

I understand your feeling and disposition at that time. You know of course it was not the right thing to do, not to say you were making poor witness and not to say that Jesus said he would be ashamed of us in heaven if we are ashamed of him one earth (paraphrase). No, I am not trying to preach to you. Probably I would do the same but now I don’t.

Praying is very personal matter and should not be dictated by what others think. When you show your respect and wishing goodness to the deceased by invoking your genuine prayer, my God, I tell you, you will be most appreciated by the grieving relatives. Funerals and memorial services are such golden opportunity for us to bring comfort and love to the loved ones of the departed who are left behind. Please make a simple prayer and do the sign of the cross. Why, we are Catholics and that’s how we do those thing.:):thumbsup:

Go ahead and make the sign of the cross and pray. In that way you are witnessing to your faith!

We should have no concern about what others think.

In most cases, I think it would be completely appropriate to make the sign of the cross before praying for the deceased. The only case I would be hesitant to do this is if I was personally aware that the family of the deceased would be offended, bothered, or even frightened by this. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m “putting a curse” on their beloved departed and a funeral isn’t the place to have a rational conversaton with the bereaved about what the sign of the cross actually means. I think that mentally saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” before you pray will have the same effect as physically making the sign of the cross.

I would say that it is OK to make the sign of the cross at most funerals, certainly all Christian funerals. However, I personally would not recommend making the sign of the cross at a Jewish funeral. That is just my opinion.

I can’t speak for anyone else but if you want to cross yourself and say a prayer for me over my casket after I’m gone, I won’t be offended.

It can’t hurt and if you’ns are right about that whole Purgatory thing, then I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Second this. I wouldn’t see it as being an issue at Christian or secular funerals, but I would be cautious about it at another religious funeral. Many would considered it extremely offensive at a funeral for an Asatruar, for instance.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

It is just a prayer, wishing something good for someone. And that’s how a Catholic does it. If one is a non-Christian, it is probably like saying, “wish you good luck,” or “all the best.”

If you said “yous” I’d know you were from New York.
If you said “yens” I’d know you were from Pittsburgh.
Where do they say “you’ns”? :wink:

We make the sign of the Cross -at our services and many do privately as well-we even have a rosary -be kind:cool:

[quote=Gullveig] Quote:

Originally Posted by Tomdstone

I would say that it is OK to make the sign of the cross at most funerals, certainly all Christian funerals. However, I personally would not recommend making the sign of the cross at a Jewish funeral. That is just my opinion.

Second this. I wouldn’t see it as being an issue at Christian or secular funerals, but I would be cautious about it at another religious funeral. Many would considered it extremely offensive at a funeral for an Asatruar, for instance.
[/quote]

hmmm…so we hide our faith as not to offend?

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You’d prefer to take the chance of badly offending a grieving family at a funeral and disrespect the religious beliefs of the deceased rather than find an unobtrusive way to honour your own faith? :ehh:

For Asatru, the problem with doing this is that you would (a) be invoking the Christian god into a space in which he is not welcome and we believe that this has consequences for everyone involved whether you choose to believe it or not. (b) Under our traditions, you would be casting dispersions on the honour of the dead Asatruar and we don’t tend to tolerate that kind of thing well. You don’t have to hide that you’re a Christian, but you should be respectful in a religious space that is not your own. I would not go to a Christian funeral and raise a horn in honour of the deceased, I would do that on my own time elsewhere.

Then I would question why attend. Maybe a personal phone call to the family to express sympathy would be best.

They often use it here in the western North Carolina mountains.

Jon

That would be up to the Christian attending the funeral. If they feel that strongly about it, then , sure. I think few people would be upset by a Christian not attending an Asatruar’s funeral for religious reasons.

Is it really such a huge deal that it couldn’t be done at any other time or substituted with something else, though? I have trouble imaging why one couldn’t just say a prayer or whatever on their own and then sit through the funeral like non-Christians do at a Christian funerals all the time.

Just out of curiosity. What’s an Asatruar’s funeral?

As a Catholic, I would not attend a function if it is very exclusive in nature. Like for example, I would not attend a Muslim’s funeral or circumcision ceremony though I could if I want to, but I would not. I could acknowledge them by phone or a visitation to their house at some other points in time (if I need to - relatives, for example).

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