An ex-in law died this past weekend. Complications of diabetes. VERY Christian. The extended family (my wife's) will be attending some kind of church based memorial service. I've been given a "pass" by my wife as she knows my thoughts about these things. She's going as it's a day trip and chance to see her brothers and sisters. This led to a conversation about this kind of ritual over dinner.
Instead of a somber church funeral, why not a "destination rememberance"? I voted for cremation of my remains, and everyone meet at the Akumal beach resort for a long weekend.... at some point, simply throw my ashes on the reef and return to the bar for blender drinks. Sounds much more civilized to me.
I'm interested that even though we have a dislike for church ritual we still want some kind of ritual. Some cultures had it both ways, celebrating a funeral mass and then a wake. I think the ritual serves to say that the death of a life matters. The trouble with church rituals is that they also serve to say the church matters and that can be annoying. I like the idea of drinks all round at someone's death because I think it affirms that life must go on even though our part is over.