Odd topic for a woodworking forum but then again so are moose.
Friday we buried my grandmother. (It's alright, she was a million years old (OK, 96 ) and had a good life. She was ready when the time came.)
It was the most unusal funeral I've ever been to but I'm not that experienced in the way fo funerals. I thought I'd ask to see if others have run across what I experienced and see if anyone knows the reason for it.
After lunch at the church, the funeral director (FD) had us "process" to the funeral home behind him. The trip was down the alley, left to the end of the block, a slight jog to the right, then left and into the driveway at the funeral home where we parked. I could have pushed the car with everyone in it that far.
The family was lead into the funeral home and into a room with a few rows of chairs facing a curtain. After we sat there looking at this curtain for about 15 minutes, the lights were turned down. At this point Ian, my 3-1/2 year old son asked, "Are we going to watch a moo-vie?" The FD came in and opened the curtain revealing another sheer curtain. On the other side of that curtain was a room with chairs lined up facing toward the right. In them were seated a number of folks. If you leaned forward and looked to the right you could see the casket and the minister. The latter spoke about my grandmother's life and did all those sorts of things that ministers do at funerals including mispronouncing many of the names of the relatives granny left behind.
After the minister was finished the FD opened a side door in the room where the casket was and the folks sitting in that room filed past the casket and out the door. We sat there listening to Amazing Grace skipping on the CD player until everyone but family was out the door. Thenb the FD came and opened the sheer curtain a little and we filed out, past the casket, shook the minister's hand and then out the door into the sunshine and southern Iowa September heat.
So is this thing of having the family viewing the funeral from a distance as it were a common thing? If I hadn't been family and just showed up for the funeral, I'd have thought the family had skipped the funeral altogether. Any idea where this sort of funeral service comes from? Is it from some specific tradition? I was thinking I'd try to look it up on the Internet but I don't even know how to search for something like that.