United Reformed Church – what's it like?

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  • United Reformed Church – what's it like?
  • TheBrick
    Member

    No experience of a URC but funeral tend to be fairly open and easy going as its expected that not everyone will be from church _X_.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    Unfortunately, in my experience, it will almost entirely depend on the minister. For the most part, they tend to be a bit stodgy and on the older side.

    On the other hand, one of the local guys around here is unbelievably theatrical and camp, and can turn a funeral into something akin to a carnival.

    He’s got to be one of a kind, though, so you’ll probably be safe with a few appropriate hymns, Bible readings, prayers, and commemorations.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Sadly, going to a funeral at a URC tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a URC before, what ‘style’ should I expect? I don’t feel particularly comfortable with ‘happy clappy’ styles, wandering round and shaking hands with people I’ve never met before and all the ‘peace be with you’ stuff, being essentially a borderline atheist cum agnostic, but of course my feelings come a distant second to our friend’s last wishes, and those of her husband, children and parents. Hence, I just like to know what to expect before I get there, so I can also prime my daughters too (our local church, which we go to for school carol concerts and the like is pretty straight – traditional). Any sensible advice / information?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Can’t comment on the church, but I’m sorry for your loss. Funerals are never fun, try to celebrate life rather than mourning death.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    I was brought up URC.

    From my experience it will be fairly low key, no hand shaking happy clappyness or audience participation.

    Sorry for your loss.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Thanks people.

    eskay
    Member

    My wife’s family (well her mum & auntie) is quite heavily involved with a local URC near Bristol. We got married there and had our kid’s christened there.

    I am not a big fan of the church (yes I know we got married there etc but that was mainly for my wife as she was brought up going there, I couldn’t give two hoots) but, every time I have been I have found it very laid back and relaxed, not a bit like catholic and some CofE ceremonies I have been to.

    There was no handshaking or any of that crap. I think if I was religious it would be the kind of place I would go.

    Sorry for your loss.

    There was no handshaking or any of that crap.

    Handshaking is quite a nice thing to do, specially at a funeral, I wouldn’t get upset by someone wanting to shake my hand, it’s a sign of warmth and friendship.

    My condolences for the loss of your friend Jonv.

    z1ppy
    Member

    No experience of the URC, but been to two very catholic funerals (& 2 civil) over the last year, and though I expected it to be little awkward as a non-believer, they were fine. The hand shaking was hardly difficult or in any way uncomfortable, we let them get on with their holy words & it wasn’t frowned upon not to take part in the interactions between the priest/church & normal believers.
    As above, it only about celebrating life, not to make ppl uncomfortable.
    Sorry for your loss.

    thomthumb
    Member

    sorry for your loss.

    wandering round and shaking hands with people I’ve never met before and all the ‘peace be with you’ stuff,

    shaking hands with a friend of a friend and wishing them well. where’s the issue?

    eskay
    Member

    Handshaking is quite a nice thing to do, specially at a funeral, I wouldn’t get upset by someone wanting to shake my hand, it’s a sign of warmth and friendship.

    shaking hands with a friend of a friend and wishing them well. where’s the issue?

    I am not talking about shaking someone’s hand when you meet them, I am talking about the practice of getting off of your pew and wandering around saying ‘peace be with you’ and shaking random people’s hands.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    It was a very nice service. Burial service still to do later this afternoon. I shook hands and shared condolences with many, I don’t have an issue with that – it’s the organised formality of wandering round doing it that I don’t like.

    Rumour is that after the burial, there will be karaoke at the reception ( she didn’t want a ‘wake’). She’s determined to have the last laugh at our expense!

    eskay
    Member

    Glad it went ‘well’. That has been my experience of the URC.

    Get on the mic later!!

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    What a beautiful afternoon. Fiona’s celebration and burial was at Clandon Wood natural burial ground. A wonderful ceremony in a beautiful setting at the foot of the North Downs. We had readings, memories, and sang along to a couple of her favourite songs (that was the karaoke bit, thankfully). Then we walked her to her chosen spot, her on a horse drawn cart flanked by her children, and as we laid her to rest we released a big bunch of purple balloons as she wanted.

    I wouldn’t normally link to a commercial organisation here and it’s not an advert but I was so impressed by the whole experience I wanted to. And I’ll try to post a picture later.

    http://Www.clandonwood.com

    Then we walked her to her chosen spot, her on a horse drawn cart flanked by her children, and as we laid her to rest we released a big bunch of purple balloons as she wanted.

    That sounds really moving.

    Funerals are of course always deeply tragic events, but they are made a lot easier when you know that the ceremony has been organised precisely in a manner which the person would have wanted.

    johnners
    Member

    Then we walked her to her chosen spot, her on a horse drawn cart flanked by her children, and as we laid her to rest we released a big bunch of purple balloons as she wanted.

    That sounds really moving.

    Well I’m a bit moved just reading about it. It sounds like a lovely send off.

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