The term “Homegoing” is a familiar phrase in the Black church community when it comes to funerals. Although funerals are a time for mourning loved ones, the Black church community likes to think of it as a celebration. As Christians, they believe in Heaven, the ultimate goal for a believer in the Christian faith. Entering Heaven and gaining eternity in paradise is what living a pleasing Christian earthly life is all about. Friends and family cry tears of both sadness and joy because a “homegoing” celebration or funeral is used as a vehicle to acknowledge the fact that their loved one is truly in a better place.
Usually this type of celebration is indicated by wearing white instead of black, musical selections (choirs, soloists etc), funny stories, and praising God as if the congregation were in a regular church service. All the regular funeral procedures take place such as viewing the body and a processional are done as well. Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas, is very familiar with the Black community’s version of a funeral service. Therefore, they have taken extreme measures to ensure that their funerals are indeed a celebration. TLC’s new reality show, “Best Funeral Ever”, features the funeral home in their new series.
As reported by Black Media Scoop:
That’s the point of the funerals, which are based on a person’s life — a football fan might have items and activities related to the sport, a person who loved Christmas may have actual reindeer to show up at the party. Sanders noted the funerals can cost as upwards of $40,000, and in theory, the sky is the limit.
Black Media Scoop reported that the season premier displayed one service that had wrangled pigs, ribs, and a barbeque sauce fountain for a former singer on the Chili’s Restaurant baby back ribs jingle by the name of Willie “Wolf” McCoy.
“These are families who have lost loved ones. So there is never any disrespect with these type of homegoing celebrations,” said John Beckwith Jr., CEO of the Golden Gate Funeral Home.
The business itself appears to be legit but are the concepts for these “homegoings” too much? From the looks of it, it appears to make the funerals look like circuses or an amusement park. Something for entertainment purposes instead of a proper time and place to mourn. This type of celebration is definitely more extravagant than most in the Christian community. Although Black churches make it a point to stress that people should feel joy in the midst of sadness, they still have a sense of modesty that the Golden Gate funerals don’t seem to portray thus far. Could TLC or Golden Gate be exploiting the meaning of a “homegoing” celebration in the Black church? Shouldn’t a Christian funeral focus on the reward and comfort of an individual entering Heaven instead of their favorite hobbies or job accomplishments?
Leave us a comment below. Is this a funeral or a mockery?