Now for my question, gentle readers: What does one do about demonstrations of religiosity at these events? I'm not a particularly religious person, but I do take religion very seriously. I try not to fake belief when I don't feel it. Overtly religious ceremonies make me pretty uncomfortable. During the event, I stood silently while others sang or prayed aloud, and a nodded my head when appropriate. No one who wasn't paying attention to me would have noticed that I wasn't really participating. It just didn't feel right. On the other hand, the service wasn't about my religious opinions - it was to honor the person who had passed, as well as their family and loved ones. Perhaps I should have mouthed the words and sang along with everyone else. I feel somewhat guilty about not doing so, although to my knowledge no one other than myself and my neighbor (who wasn't singing either) was aware of my forbearance.
Did I do the right thing, staying silent? Or should I have just gone along out of respect? I'm just not sure.
No, you are absolutely not obligated to go that far. You showed up, which is an enormous sign of respect.By Rebecca, at 3:25 PM
Everyone should be aware that there are people at weddings and funerals who are not necessarily of the same religion as the service being performed and be willing to make allowances.
At a Catholic service, for instance, I could understand people standing and sitting along with everyone else, yet choosing to sit instead of kneel. You certainly are not required to speak or sing.
Your presence should be appreciated. Full participation is not required.
It is best to do what you are comfortable with doing. I will second Rebecca's comments - your presence was most important, not your participation in the various religious aspects of the service.By RageyOne, at 4:06 PM
Heck there are many times that I don't sing at my own church because I don't want to. I stand with the congregation, and I don't even pretend to mouth the words (if I know the hymn).
Your actions were absolutely appropriate.By Seeking Solace, at 4:06 PM
That's a really interesting question. First of all, the fact that you care enough to wonder says that you were not doing anything inappropriate. Secondly, as long as you weren't overtly disrupting someone else's worship, I say that you were being completely appropriate.By BrightStar (B*), at 8:56 PM
It's interesting that many of us have these same vague feelings of 'what am i supposed to do?'. The same thing afflicts me at various functions: simplistic expressions of patriotism (jingoism), religious services, weddings...By Belle, at 10:37 AM
FWIW, I agree with those opinions expressed above: you did it right.
Thanks guys! I appreciate the support.By Arbitrista, at 3:19 PM