The Peril of Religious Services When You’re Grieving…and Some Solutions

A circle representation of the religious symbols for Christianity,, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.

Religious services can be fraught with discomfort. 

Sometimes it’s as simple as being in such a public environment without the person you love. For others, it’s the looks of pity you may be getting from others.

If religious services are difficult for you, here are some options:

Don’t go. Though it may feel obligatory, you don’t have to go. It is okay to skip Midnight Mass for this one year.

You can create your own service or ritual at home. These private services can be quite meaningful whether you do them alone or with your family.

Go to a different service. If you used to go to the Candle Lighting Service, try the earlier Family Service instead or vice versa. If you used to go to an evening service, go to a morning service.

Go to a different church, synagogue, or temple.

Go to another denomination.

Use this as an opportunity to explore another religious tradition.

Visit a church, synagogue, or temple in another community if the familiarity of your usual place of worship creates too much discomfort. No one has to know you’re grieving.

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Photo Credit: Zscout370 – Star of David Symbol ; Boris23 – Christian Cross Symbol ; Ttog – Allah Script Symbol ;Rursus – Hindu and Buddist Symbols, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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