Joss-sticks or no joss-sticks?

I traced from my OneStat counter and found a thread being discussed in a Singapore forum. Someone quoted my old posting as a reference to a question from a bride-to-be. It is really none of my business and I don’t think the person asking will be reading this. But then, I am in a peachy-preachy mood, so here goes some religion related reading.

I’m a Bride who is a Christian myself and Groom’s family is Buddhism?..
When we b4 we serve tea to his parents, we need to pay respect to his ancestors.Can i juz bow?.. Would it be offending if i hold joss stick for his ancestors? What should i do?

Dear Bride-to-be

Religion is a touchy issue. Before you are married to your future mother-in-law and her hosts of relatives (hahaha, fact of life ok?), please make sure that you know where you stand. Firstly, know what you want and how you are going to deal with it. Your whole life including that of your future children is ahead of you and you must make up your mind on how to steer it in the right direction.

If you, as a person thinks that there is nothing to wrong to hold the joss-sticks and said a silent prayer to God, our Father, then please do so. Ask for the Lord’s blessings on the souls of your in-laws departed relatives.

Don’t rock the boat on your most joyous occasion by creating some upsets of rejecting the joss-sticks offered to you for prayers. Especially if their host of relatives, friends, neighbours, onlookers, busybodies are watching you with bated breath.

However, if you think that by doing so, it may gives your future-in-laws and the host of 3gu6po the impression that you do this all the time, and they may expect you to follow all their prayer rites in future, then explain politely to them now. Do it days before the ceremony.

Know that it is NOT OK for you, as a Christian to continue joining in their prayers with joss-sticks all the time. Look up St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians…

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge….. (1Cor 8:9-10)

Make this decision yourself. Do not let the pressures from your own Christians relatives and senior church members put you in a difficult situation. Do not let the pressure of trying to blend in your husband’s family make you bend your own conscience. There are many ways to honour the ancestors. How about making three bows, in a standing position and offering of a cup of tea or wine in memory of them? I am sure you will be doing this to your future-in-laws who are alive, so do the same for their dead relatives too.

If you have a ‘tai kam poh’ or whatever you call that big, loud mouth, sugar-laced tongue, overly dressed old lady who organised the ceremony, tell her firmly what you expect from her. She is the master of ceremony and the best person to deal with. If you are the one paying her services, then, you are safe.

Blessings to you and may God bless you and your future husband.

Signed : The KPC.

Read Celestine’s blog for enlightment.

Also, anyone interested to learn more about Christianity, with no obligations to be converted, call up your nearest Catholic church and ask about the RCIA. Celestine blogged it and I had mentioned it too. My church session is starting next Sunday.

4 thoughts on “Joss-sticks or no joss-sticks?

  1. You were born into a state of grace. It is impossible for you to leave it. You will die in a state of grace whether or not special words are spoken for you, or water or oil is poured upon your head or you need to place joss sticks for your ancestors.

    You share this blessing with the animals and all other living things. You cannot fall out of grace, nor can it be taken from you.

    You can ignore it. You can hold beliefs that blind you to its existence. You will still be graced but unable to perceive your own uniqueness and integrity, and blind also to other attributes with which you are automatically gifted.

  2. I had the same problem when I got married. I held the joss-sticks to avoid creating any problem on that day. However, deep in my heart, I know who my Lord is and as long as my conscience is clear, that’s all it matters.

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