Quick Guide to Funerals
September 2, 2016
Until recently, funerals took place in formal cemeteries where the dead are buried or cremated. Family and friends come to pay their respects, with certain funeral customs varying between the different cultures and religious groups. And the body can be cremated or buried. So here’s a quick guide to funerals.
Quick Guide – A Wide Variety
These days, people have endless choices surrounding the format of funerals. So Let’s take a look at the many different types of funerals you get. Note that there are a lot more, but we look at the more familiar ones:
- Religious funerals, which differ between different denominations.
- Among Hindus, cremation takes place within a day of death.
- Funerals in Islam follow certain rites, but Islamic religious law requires burial, not cremation, preceded by a ritual involving bathing and then shrouding the body. Cremation of the body is forbidden.
Quick Guide – Memorial Service
- Memorial Services. Often religious ministers officiate here and mostly in a church, funeral home or crematorium. And the funeral follows a few days after death. With communion, Roman Catholics call this mass.
●A Roman Catholic funeral occurs in a parish church and consists of prayers as well as eulogies from the family. Religious funeral services usually include prayers, readings from the Bible and the hymn singing. The family often cover caskets and coffins with flowers. Also, if the deceased served in a branch of the armed forces, the national flag draped over the coffin.
●Jewish funerals follow particular rites. The Halakha requires Torah readings with burial.
Quick Guide – Watching the Body
Viewings or Wakes. In Christian custom, the funeral director places the body of the deceased on display in the open coffin or casket. This is usually in the house belonging to the dead person. The viewing of the body, whether embalmed or not, takes place a couple of evenings before the funeral. Today this practice continues in many parts of Ireland and Scotland. . The family puts on display photographs of the deceased person with some of their treasured possessions. There may even be a DVD of the dead person when they were still alive. Music accompanies the DVD, which plays continuously during the visitation.
Quick Guide – Burial or Cremation
- Burial or Cremation service. Such services take place at the side of the grave. Most times the burial follows the funeral. Pallbearers, who are usually male family members or friends of the deceased, will carry the casket from the chapel to the hearse, and from the hearse to the burial service.
- With a cremation, the funeral director removes jewellery before the body and coffin go into the furnace. Cremation is an old custom and, despite some religions objecting to cremations, are gaining in popularity.
Quick Guide – Celebrating the Life
- Celebration of Life. Many people are choosing to hold a celebration of life service for the deceased instead of a traditional type of funeral. The bereaved people hold these ceremonies in places of worship or restaurants. The focus of the funeral is on celebrating the life of the deceased. These funerals are portrayed as joyous events instead of the crying, wailing, sombre traditional funerals.
- State Funerals. These funerals are for presidents, heads of state and other high-ranking people.
- Some people like to plan for their funerals well in advance so that their families don’t have to pay for the funeral, and so the family knows their wishes.
Ensure everything is Safe and Organised
The date and time of a funeral depends on where funerals are held, on customs, religions and personal preferences. Are you wondering about funerals and what you want for your own? Everplans is an archive of everything your next of kind will need when your time of death comes. So everything is stored in your own personal vault and its so simple to set up, allowing for carefree, organised, dignified funerals for your loved ones.
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All info was correct at time of publishing