Een kerkelijke uitvaart zonder kerk

Posted on 23 September, 2020 at 0:45

Wil je uit respect voor (een van) je ouders een christelijke (katholieke of protestante) uitvaart, in de traditie waarin je opgegroeid bent, ook al doe je er zelf al lang niets meer mee? Een kerkelijke uitvaart biedt namelijk meer dan het louter ophalen van herinneringen: het gaat om troost, om recht doen aan je ouders, om een waardig afscheid. En dat zonder met kromme tenen te hoeven zitten.

Hoe regel je een kerkelijke uitvaart zonder kerk

Als je vader of moeder aangesloten was bij een parochie of gemeente, dan zal de pastor of de predikant de uitvaart vaak doen. Kwamen je ouders er ook al vele jaren niet meer, of is door verhuizing naar een verpleeghuis het contact verbroken en krijgt de verpleeghuispastor geen tijd voor uitvaarten (wat helaas vaak zo is), dan kun je beter een vrijgevestigde uitvaartvoorganger of -pastor vragen om de plechtigheid te doen, omdat die tijd heeft om zich te verdiepen in de overleden persoon en diens verleden, en bovendien een dienst op maat aan kan bieden.

Geen kromme tenen

Omdat een uitvaartvoorganger gespecialiseerd is in het voorgaan bij uitvaarten waarbij het grootste deel van de aanwezigen niet meer kerkelijk is, of helemaal geen kerkelijke achtergrond heeft, wordt zwaar kerkelijk taalgebruik vermeden. Degenen die thuis zijn in de kerkelijke traditie horen de gelovige taal, terwijl tegelijkertijd degenen die dat niet zijn niet met kromme tenen hoven te zitten, omdat ook juist het grotere -gelovige- kader maakt dat teksten als religieus gevoeld worden.


Rituelen worden alleen rituele handelingen, als ze begrepen worden zonder uitgelegd te hoeven worden, anders wordt het een nietszeggende, of zelfs absurdistische, voorstelling. Zie ook mijn blog over wat een uitvaart tot goed theater maakt. Er zijn kerkelijke rituelen die ook algemeen religieus, of zondermeer algemeen zijn, zoals bijvoorbeeld het aansteken van kaarsen naast de baar. Steek je die kaarsen echter aan aan de paaskaars, in de kerken het symbool van de overwinning van het licht op de duisternis, van het leven op de dood, dan plaats je alleen al door die handeling de overledene in die traditie. Voor de goede verstaander is zo het simpelweg -maar wel plechtig- aansteken van kaarsen een ritueel dat ver uitstijgt boven het markeren van het begin van een dienst.


Het bieden van troost (en dat is wat anders dan zeggen dat opa of oma in de hemel is) is uiteraard niet voorbehouden aan christelijke uitvaarten, maar door het nadrukkelijk verbinden (en nadrukkelijk is wat anders dan zware woorden) van het leven van de overledene met Bijbelse begrippen of thema’s, geef je vanuit dat kader van het christelijke geloof betekenis aan het leven van de overleden dierbare, waardoor bijvoorbeeld zowel goede als ook nare karaktereigenschappen een plaats krijgen, omdat dat nooit het laatste is wat over die iemand gezegd kan worden. Zo’n plechtigheid eindigt in mijn optiek dan ook altijd met een absoute, de zogenaamde laatste zegeningen, waarin de kerk, en (in mijn geval) niet Erna van Wijngaarden, mensen in de handen van God legt.

Geen grijze muis

Door op deze manier het leven van de overledene in dit grote kader betekenis te geven, wordt iemand geen grijze muis, en kunnen een lach en een traan heel dicht bij elkaar liggen. Zie ook mijn tips voor het schrijven van een Uitvaartspeech (In Memoriam).

Samen met de toespraken van familieleden, foto’s en muziek, óók als de overledene een afschuwelijke smaak had, wordt een kerkelijke uitvaart zonder kerk -als het goed is- zo één groot geheel. Troostender kan niet.



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