Should there be funerals on the Sabbath?

For some and not for others, the Sabbath (Shabbat) is a sacred day for the Jewish people. But are Sabbath funerals kosher or not?

One of the 10 Commandments is to keep the seventh day holy, making it special, one where you take time off to remember and worship the Lord.  “Six days will you labour, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God”.

Sabbath funerals – What day is the Sabbath?

However, there’s conflict about what day the Sabbath falls on. Sunday is the first day of the week so for many, the seventh day has always been Saturday.

Sabbath funerals – Keep one Day different From the Others

Funerals require labour, as in preparing the body, digging the grave and carrying the body in a coffin. Jews never bury their dead on the Sabbath as it is involves labour.

Sabbath funerals

Seventh Day Adventists try to avoid Sabbath funerals too. However, in certain conditions, it may have to happen without delay.

In a case like this, morticians and cemetery employees work in advance. This eliminates the need to labour on the day of the Sabbath.

Sabbath funerals – There are Always exceptions

In this country, however, Sunday is the day of rest and worship. Most churches hold their services on a Sunday.

Jewish law, says the burial must take place within 24 hours after death when possible. A funeral service for late on Friday and postponed until the Sunday is acceptable as funerals are prohibited on the Sabbath – Saturday.

Whether Saturday or Sunday is your Sabbath, if you request a funeral on these days, will it be possible? Most funerals happen during the week, about 3 days after the death. When you choose a day for a funeral, find out the available times.

Each to their Own

Protestant Christian burials have few requirements and most funerals are within 3 to 4 days. In Islam,  the deceased are buried within 24 hours. Jewish custom is to bury the deceased between 24 and 48 hours.

Each religion has its own unique customs concerning funerals. While the Sabbath is kept holy at all costs, there is always the one common thread and that is respect for the body. Just sometimes the rule is broken and the Sabbath becomes the day for goodbyes.

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