Last week, Cissy Houston made a choice to allow the world to “go to church” with the telecast of her daughter Whitney Houston’s funeral service. What struck me was the fact that the network I was watching seemed so amazed by a “Baptist home going” service. At one point in the telecast, a commentator said “this takes place every Sunday in black churches all over America.
The Home going service on television doesn’t happen in every black church in America every Sunday. A Home going service goes as follows: A processional in, the church choir singing two or three songs, a scripture reading from the Old and New Testament, a couple of solos, friends speaking of the deceased as a neighbor, church member, and co-worker. Then the eulogy, followed by a processional out, a ride to the cemetery, lowering in the ground, and back to the church or someone’s house to eat dinner. This is the way we celebrate the person’s life. Whether it’s Whitney Houston or Sister Bernice Jenkins, president of the number two Usher board. The only difference is Sister Jenkins funeral would have lasted about an hour and a half. So don’t go thinking every black church is the same way because it’s not. To lump us all in one category is a bit insane.
This thinking tells me where we stand in American society. Sadly, it took a superstar dying for America to get a glimpse of what goes on in our culture. Now White America seems intrigued by our home going services. As if now, it’s going to be the cool thing to have your loved one who has died to have a Whitney Houston home going funeral service. This is disturbing to me.
America, where have you been? I can understand Piers Morgan finding a home going service amazing. He’s from England. But it’s 2012 and America is still way behind the times. How is it that I know that in White America, a funeral is about forty-five minutes top to bottom? But yet White America is just now finding out about our culture. What reservation have you been living on? It’s insulting at best. A funeral can be a happy or sad occasion. It’s not this big cultural phenomenon. and it’s certainly not amazing to the point that you have a viral orgasm over a large choir singing in a choir stand.
Do me a favor White America. The next time I go to one of your funerals, keep it status quo. I don’t want to enter your church to find that you rented a choir just like the one at Whitney’s funeral. I don’t want to enter your church only to find that you have paid a preacher that speaks like Marvin Winans because you saw it during Whitney’s funeral thinking it’s hot. Whitney’s funeral is not to be used as the “IN” thing to do for your funeral. This is our culture. This isn’t cool. It’s just real.