There’s little doubt the Irish branch of the roman catholic church is withering away under the bored apathetic gaze of the current generation to the hostile glee of the older generation. Seminaries are barren despite heavy investment in public relations and the recruitment of a handful of poor fools trying to hide from the world makes headline news in the religious press. The dearth of men willing to submit to the numbing dogmatic bureaucracy of the centrally ruled Vatican city-state has led to estimates predicting the number of Irish priests dropping to “a few hundred” by 2042.
This has led to a slow but persistent increase in the demand for secular ceremonies:-
Godless funerals thrive in ?post-Catholic? Ireland - Washington PostIrish funeral directors estimate that 10 percent of the nearly 30,000 funerals conducted annually are nonreligious. Government data show that about 30 percent of the 21,000 weddings annually are outside any church, up from 5 percent two decades ago.
Brian Whiteside, the director of ceremonies for the Humanist Association of Ireland, led more than 100 weddings, funerals or naming ceremonies in 2012.
“We’re busier than we ever thought we would be,” Whiteside said. “I thought I would do this as a sideline, but it’s taken over my life.”
Humanists — who believe in ethical values and a sense of compassion — have been at the forefront of performing nonreligious ceremonies. Whiteside said he and his 10 fellow Humanist-sanctioned celebrants have seen consistent growth, topping off at 78 funerals and 200 weddings in 2012.
Personally I find roman catholic ceremonies painful especially at emotive events like funerals. But I do like (a little) tradition and the idea employing a professional with a master’s in "bereavement studies" to conduct a ceremony with popular music just leaves me cold. Perhaps this is just a remanent of cultural Catholicism and will fade in time.
How do other posters feel about non-religious ceremonies? Has anyone attended one?