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Question 245

On recently losing my father and trying to act on his wishes, I need some input. He was a Protestant and a non believer, and was quite clear on his wishes as to his ‘disposal’. Problem is many friends and family are of Orthodox faith and are insistent on a service of some sort. I am at a loss, as it is for the living and not for the deceased’s benefit.  Any guidance you can offer that I may repeat to them please?  


Answer to Question 245


Difficult situation.

You say he was Protestant and a non believer but he can't have been both. A non believer is not a Protestant. As a non Orthodox you cannot have an Orthodox funeral so that is out of the question.


I agree with the friends and family that some sort of service should be performed. As you mentioned this is not for your father's benefit, who is now in God's hands whether he believed in him or not, but for those living as it will help them with the grieving process; it is a way we say goodbye to someone we love and a way of honouring and saluting their memory.


You do not say what kind of non practicing Protestant he was. If he was Church of England or the Church of Wales maybe you can ask them to perform the funeral service. I think simply burying him or having him cremated without any kind of service is too cold an act even if it was his wish. What does mum and sister have to say? I understand the feeling of wanting to respect your father's wish, but you also need to respect your own feelings and the feelings of the rest of the family.