In this more and more heathenish Country one hears with increasing frequency about “Memorial Services”. I understand this as something that can, but does not have to, have anything to do with God. It may simply be people who meet in the favourite park of the deceased and therein “offer” something heathensh, like a song; thus, of course, putting themselves centre stage.
Now let us think one minute. If these are religious services of sort – heavens, even made by Anglicans – then it still means that, in some corner of their mind, the participants know that this life is and happens in the shade of the next one. It is bad they do not want us to know (otherwise they would call it “Mass”), but at least they know.
If, however, the “service” is a kind of godless “tribute”, then it is fully absurd. If there is no God and no afterlife everything is utterly, perfectly nonsensical. We are born, struggle to stay alive, strive to reproduce, and at some point end, and nothing in this has any sense or purpose beyond mere animal survival. Not even our DNA code is the real winner, because it most certainly does not know it is.
If there is no God, the only acceptable kind of remembrance is: “the poor brute was born, lived, then died into nothingness, like everyone else; no one knows how, no one knows why, and no one can make any sense of it”. Playing a guitar song in his favourite spot is just as absurd as the rest, an emotional, childish desire to please not the deceased, but oneself.
At these services, the “goodness” of the deceased will most ceretainly be praised. Which is absurd again.
If at the end of life is nothing, there's nothing saying that Stalin was worse than St Francis. Good and bad are, then, purely subjective, and goodness is only a possible survival strategy for the weak. If there is no God, there is simply no goodness, only survival and self-satisfaction. Stalin, then, was really, really good at the most elementary need of the animal called human. I wonder how many of the emotional participants to heathenish “memorial services” get this. But then again I do not think they get an awful lot anyway.
Modern Brits make a lot of things that have lost their meaning. They go to Church because it's Christmas, but they don't believe in the Christian God. They have a Queen whose only function is to kiss children, open kindergartens, and generate tourism revenue, but they do not see the absurdity of the entire exercise. They wear crosses that are merely decorative. They say 'o my God' and do not believe in Him. They kill unborn children, and are mad at the idea of the fox hunt. They obsess about their health system, and their souls have cancer. They must “celebrate” everything, even deaths, to avoid thinking of it.
And they have “memorial services” instead of, well, a proper Mass.