A funeral is a ceremony connected with the final disposition of a corpse, such as a burial or cremation, with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs vary between cultures and religious groups. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, and offering support and sympathy to the bereaved; additionally, funerals may have religious aspects that are intended to help the soul of the deceased reach the afterlife, resurrection or reincarnation.
The funeral usually includes a ritual through which the corpse receives a final dispositon. Depending on culture and religion, these can involve either the destruction of the body (for example, by cremation or sky burial) or its preservation (for example, by mummification or interment). Differing beliefs about cleanliness and the relationship between body and soul are reflected in funerary practices. A memorial service or celebration of life is a funerary ceremony that is performed without the remains of the deceased person.
The word funeral comes from the Latin funus, which had a variety of meanings, including the corpse and the funerary rites themselves. Funerary art is art produced in connection with burials, including many kinds of tombs, and objects specially made for burial like flowers with a corpse.
Funeral rites are as old as human culture itself, pre-dating modern Homo sapiens and dated to at least 300,000 years ago. For example, in the Shanidar Cave in Iraq, in Pontnewydd Cave in Wales and at other sites across Europe and the Near East, archaeologists have discovered Neanderthal skeletons with a characteristic layer of flower pollen. This deliberate burial and reverence given to the dead has been interpreted as suggesting that Neanderthals had religious beliefs, although the evidence is not unequivocal – while the dead were apparently buried deliberately, burrowing rodents could have introduced the flowers.
Substantial cross-cultural and historical research document funeral customs as a highly predictable, stable force in communities. Funeral customs tend to be characterized by five "anchors": significant symbols, gathered community, ritual action, cultural heritage, and transition of the dead body (corpse).
Funerals in the Bahá'í Faith are characterized by not embalming, a prohibition against cremation, using a chrysolite or hardwood casket, wrapping the body in silk or cotton, burial not farther than an hour (including flights) from the place of death, and placing a ring on the deceased's finger stating, "I came forth from God, and return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate." The Bahá'í funeral service also contains the only prayer that's permitted to be read as a group - congregational prayer, although most of the prayer is read by one person in the gathering. The Bahá'í decedent often controls some aspects of the Bahá'í funeral service, since leaving a will and testament is a requirement for Bahá'ís. Since there is no Bahá'í clergy, services are usually conducted under the guise, or with the assistance of, a Local Spiritual Assembly.
A Buddhist funeral marks the transition from one life to the next for the deceased. It also reminds the living of their own mortality.
Christian burials typically occur on consecrated ground. Burial, rather than a destructive process such as cremation, was the traditional practice amongst Christians, because of the belief in the resurrection of the body. Cremations later came into widespread use, although some denominations forbid them. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops said "The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine" (canon 1176.3).
Congregations of varied denominations perform different ceremonies, but most involve offering prayers, scripture reading from the Bible, a sermon, homily, or eulogy, and music. One issue of concern as the 21st century began was with the use of secular music at Christian funerals, a custom generally forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church.
Antyesti, literally "last rites or last sacrifice", refers to the rite-of-passage rituals associated with a funeral in Hinduism. It is sometimes referred to as Antima Samskaram, Antya-kriya, Anvarohanyya, or Vahni Sanskara.
A dead adult Hindu is cremated, while a dead child is typically buried. The rite of passage is said to be performed in harmony with the sacred premise that the microcosm of all living beings is a reflection of a macrocosm of the universe. The soul (Atman, Brahman) is believed to be the immortal essence that is released at the Antyeshti ritual, but both the body and the universe are vehicles and transitory in various schools of Hinduism. They consist of five elements: air, water, fire, earth and space. The last rite of passage returns the body to the five elements and origins. The roots of this belief are found in the Vedas, for example in the hymns of Rigveda in section 10.16, as follows,
Burn him not up, nor quite consume him, Agni: let not his body or his skin be scattered,
O all possessing Fire, when thou hast matured him, then send him on his way unto the Fathers.
When thou hast made him ready, all possessing Fire, then do thou give him over to the Fathers,
When he attains unto the life that waits him, he shall become subject to the will of gods.
The Sun receive thine eye, the Wind thy Prana (life-principle, breathe); go, as thy merit is, to earth or heaven.
Go, if it be thy lot, unto the waters; go, make thine home in plants with all thy members.— Rigveda 10.16
The final rites of a burial, in case of untimely death of a child, is rooted in Rig Veda's section 10.18, where the hymns mourn the death of the child, praying to deity Mrityu to "neither harm our girls nor our boys", and pleads the earth to cover, protect the deceased child as a soft wool.
Among Hindus, the dead body is usually cremated within a day of death. The body is washed, wrapped in white cloth for a man or a widow, red for a married woman, the two toes tied together with a string, a Tilak (red mark) placed on the forehead. The dead adult's body is carried to the cremation ground near a river or water, by family and friends, and placed on a pyre with feet facing south. The eldest son, or a male mourner, or a priest then bathes before leading the cremation ceremonial function. He circumambulates the dry wood pyre with the body, says a eulogy or recites a hymn in some cases, places sesame seed in the dead person's mouth, sprinkles the body and the pyre with ghee (clarified butter), then draws three lines signifying Yama (deity of the dead), Kala (time, deity of cremation) and the dead. The pyre is then set ablaze, while the mourners mourn. The ash from the cremation is consecrated to the nearest river or sea. After the cremation, a period of mourning is observed for 10 to 12 days after which the immediate male relatives or the sons of the deceased shave their head, trim their nails, recites prayers with the help of priest or Brahmin and invite all relatives, kins, friends and neighbours to eat a simple meal together in remembrance of the deceased. This day, in some communities, also marks a day when the poor and needy are offered food in memory of the dead.
Funerals in Islam (called Janazah in Arabic) follow fairly specific rites. In all cases, however, sharia (Islamic religious law) calls for burial of the body, preceded by a simple ritual involving bathing and shrouding the body, followed by salat (prayer).
Burial rituals should normally take place as soon as possible and include:
The mourning period is 40 days long.
In Judaism, funerals follow fairly specific rites, though they are subject to variation in custom. Funerals in Judaism share many features with those of Islam. Jewish religious law (Halakha) calls for preparatory rituals involving bathing and shrouding the body accompanied by prayers and readings from the Hebrew Bible, and then a funeral service marked by eulogies and brief prayers, and then the lowering of the body into the grave and the filling of the grave. Traditional law and practice forbid cremation of the body; the Reform Jewish movement generally discourages cremation but does not outright forbid it.
Burial rites should normally take place as soon as possible and include:
In Sikhism death is not considered a natural process, an event that has absolute certainty and only happens as a direct result of God's Will or Hukam. To a Sikh, birth and death are closely associated, because they are both part of the cycle of human life of "coming and going" ( ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਣਾ, Aana Jaana) which is seen as transient stage towards Liberation ( ਮੋਖੁ ਦੁਆਰੁ, Mokh Du-aar), complete unity with God; Sikhs believe in reincarnation.
The soul itself is not subject to the cycle of birth and death; death is only the progression of the soul on its journey from God, through the created universe and back to God again. In life a Sikh is expected to constantly remember death so that he or she may be sufficiently prayerful, detached and righteous to break the cycle of birth and death and return to God.
The public display of grief by wailing or crying out loud at the funeral (called Antam Sanskar in the Sikh culture) is discouraged and should be kept to a minimum. Cremation is the preferred method of disposal, although if this is not possible other methods such as burial, or burial at sea, are acceptable. Markers such as gravestones, monuments, etc. are discouraged, because the body is considered to be only the shell and the person's soul is their real essence.
On the day of the cremation, the body is washed and dressed and then taken to the Gurdwara or home where hymns (Shabads) from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikh Scriptures are recited by the congregation. Kirtan may also be performed by Ragis while the relatives of the deceased recite "Waheguru" sitting near the coffin. This service normally takes from 30 to 60 minutes. At the conclusion of the service, an Ardas is said before the coffin is taken to the cremation site.
At the point of cremation, a few more Shabads may be sung and final speeches are made about the deceased person. The eldest son or a close relative generally lights the fire. This service usually lasts about 30 to 60 minutes.
The ashes are later collected and disposed of by immersing them in the Punjab (five famous rivers in India).
The Sidaran Paath The ceremony in which the Sidharan Paath is begun after the cremation ceremony, may be held when convenient, wherever the Guru Granth Sahib is present:
Hymns are sung from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The first five and final verses of "Anand Sahib," the "Song of Bliss," are recited or sung. The first five verses of Sikhism's morning prayer, "Japji Sahib," are read aloud to begin the Sidharan paath. A hukam, or random verse, is read from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Ardas, a prayer, is offered. Prashad, a sacred sweet, is distributed. Langar, a meal, is served to guests. While the Sidharan paath is being read, the family may also sing hymns daily. Reading may take as long as needed to complete the paath.
This ceremony is followed by Sahaj Paath Bhog, Kirtan Sohila, night time prayer is recited 1 week and finally Ardas called the "Antim Ardas" ("Final Prayer") is offered the last week.
The Greek word for funeral – kēdeía (κηδεία) – derives from the verb kēdomai (κήδομαι), that means attend to, take care of someone. Derivative words are also kēdemón (κηδεμών, "guardian") and kēdemonía (κηδεμονία, "guardianship"). From the Cycladic civilization in 3000BC until the Hypo-Mycenaean era in 1200–1100 BC the main practice of burial is interment. The cremation of the dead that appears around the 11th century BC constitutes a new practice of burial and is probably an influence from the East. Until the Christian era, when interment becomes again the only burial practice, both cremation and interment had been practiced depending on the area.
The ancient Greek funeral since the Homeric era included the próthesis (πρόθεσις), the ekphorá (ἐκφορά), the burial and the perídeipnon (περίδειπνον). In most cases, this process is followed faithfully in Greece until today.
Próthesis is the deposition of the body of the deceased on the funereal bed and the threnody of his relatives. Today the body is placed in the casket, that is always open in Greek funerals. This part takes place in the house where the deceased had lived. An important part of the Greek tradition is the epicedium, the mournful songs that are sung by the family of the deceased along with professional mourners (who are extinct in the modern era). The deceased was watched over by his beloved the entire night before the burial, an obligatory ritual in popular thought, which is maintained still.
Ekphorá is the process of transport of the mortal remains of the deceased from his residence to the church, nowadays, and afterward to the place of burial. The procession in the ancient times, according to the law, should have passed silently through the streets of the city. Usually certain favourite objects of the deceased were placed in the coffin in order to "go along with him." In certain regions, coins to pay Charon, who ferries the dead to the underworld, are also placed inside the casket. A last kiss is given to the beloved dead by the family before the coffin is closed.
The Roman orator Cicero describes the habit of planting flowers around the tomb as an effort to guarantee the repose of the deceased and the purification of the ground, a custom that is maintained until today. After the ceremony, the mourners return to the house of the deceased for the perídeipnon, the dinner after the burial. According to archaeological findings–traces of ash, bones of animals, shards of crockery, dishes and basins–the dinner during the classical era was also organized at the burial spot. Taking into consideration the written sources, however, the dinner could also be served in the houses.
Two days after the burial, a ceremony called "the thirds" was held. Eight days after the burial the relatives and the friends of the deceased assembled at the burial spot, where "the ninths" would take place, a custom still kept. In addition to this, in the modern era, memorial services take place 40 days, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year after the death and from then on every year on the anniversary of the death. The relatives of the deceased, for an unspecified length of time that depends on them, are in mourning, during which women wear black clothes and men a black armband.
In ancient Rome, the eldest surviving male of the household, the pater familias, was summoned to the death-bed, where he attempted to catch and inhale the last breath of the decedent.
Funerals of the socially prominent usually were undertaken by professional undertakers called libitinarii. No direct description has been passed down of Roman funeral rites. These rites usually included a public procession to the tomb or pyre where the body was to be cremated. The surviving relations bore masks bearing the images of the family's deceased ancestors. The right to carry the masks in public eventually was restricted to families prominent enough to have held curule magistracies. Mimes, dancers, and musicians hired by the undertakers, and professional female mourners, took part in these processions. Less well-to-do Romans could join benevolent funerary societies (collegia funeraticia) that undertook these rites on their behalf.
Nine days after the disposal of the body, by burial or cremation, a feast was given (cena novendialis) and a libation poured over the grave or the ashes. Since most Romans were cremated, the ashes typically were collected in an urn and placed in a niche in a collective tomb called a columbarium (literally, "dovecote"). During this nine-day period, the house was considered to be tainted, funesta, and was hung with Taxus baccata or Mediterranean Cypress branches to warn passersby. At the end of the period, the house was swept out to symbolically purge it of the taint of death.
Several Roman holidays commemorated a family's dead ancestors, including the Parentalia, held February 13 through 21, to honor the family's ancestors; and the Feast of the Lemures, held on May 9, 11, and 13, in which ghosts (larvae) were feared to be active, and the pater familias sought to appease them with offerings of beans.
The Romans prohibited cremation or inhumation within the sacred boundary of the city (pomerium), for both religious and civil reasons, so that the priests might not be contaminated by touching a dead body, and that houses would not be endangered by funeral fires.
Restrictions on the length, ostentation, expense of, and behaviour during funerals and mourning gradually were enacted by a variety of lawmakers. Often the pomp and length of rites could be politically or socially motivated to advertise or aggrandise a particular kin group in Roman society. This was seen as deleterious to society and conditions for grieving were set. For instance, under some laws, women were prohibited from loud wailing or lacerating their faces and limits were introduced for expenditure on tombs and burial clothes.
The Romans commonly built tombs for themselves during their lifetime. Hence these words frequently occur in ancient inscriptions, V.F. Vivus Facit, V.S.P. Vivus Sibi Posuit. The tombs of the rich usually were constructed of marble, the ground enclosed with walls, and planted around with trees. But common sepulchres usually were built below ground, and called hypogea. There were niches cut out of the walls, in which the urns were placed; these, from their resemblance to the niche of a pigeon-house, were called columbaria.
Within the United States and Canada, in most cultural groups and regions, the funeral rituals can be divided into three parts: visitation, funeral, and the burial service.
At the visitation (also called a "viewing", "wake" or "calling hours"), in Christian or secular Western custom, the body of the deceased person (or decedent) is placed on display in the casket (also called a coffin, however almost all body containers are caskets). The viewing often takes place on one or two evenings before the funeral. In the past, it was common practice to place the casket in the decedent's home or that of a relative for viewing. This practice continues in many areas of Ireland and Scotland. The body is traditionally dressed in the decedent's best clothes. In recent times there has been more variation in what the decedent is dressed in – some people choose to be dressed in clothing more reflective of how they dressed in life. The body will often be adorned with common jewelry, such as watches, necklaces, brooches, etc. The jewelry may be taken off and given to the family of the deceased prior to burial or be buried with the deceased. Jewelry has to be removed before cremation in order to prevent damage to the crematory. The body may or may not be embalmed, depending upon such factors as the amount of time since the death has occurred, religious practices, or requirements of the place of burial.
The most commonly prescribed aspects of this gathering are that the attendees sign a book kept by the deceased's survivors to record who attended. In addition, a family may choose to display photographs taken of the deceased person during his/her life (often, formal portraits with other family members and candid pictures to show "happy times"), prized possessions and other items representing his/her hobbies and/or accomplishments. A more recent trend is to create a DVD with pictures and video of the deceased, accompanied by music, and play this DVD continuously during the visitation.
The viewing is either "open casket", in which the embalmed body of the deceased has been clothed and treated with cosmetics for display; or "closed casket", in which the coffin is closed. The coffin may be closed if the body was too badly damaged because of an accident or fire or other trauma, deformed from illness, if someone in the group is emotionally unable to cope with viewing the corpse, or if the deceased did not wish to be viewed. In cases such as these, a picture of the deceased, usually a formal photo, is placed atop the casket.
However, this step is foreign to Judaism; Jewish funerals are held soon after death (preferably within a day or two, unless more time is needed for relatives to come), and the corpse is never displayed. Torah law forbids embalming. Traditionally flowers (and music) are not sent to a grieving Jewish family as it is a reminder of the life that is now lost. The Jewish shiva tradition discourages family members from cooking, so food is brought by friends and neighbors. (See also Jewish bereavement.)
The decedent's closest friends and relatives who are unable to attend frequently send flowers to the viewing, with the exception of a Jewish funeral, where flowers would not be appropriate (donations are often given to a charity instead).
Obituaries sometimes contain a request that attendees do not send flowers (e.g. "In lieu of flowers"). The use of these phrases has been on the rise for the past century. In the US in 1927, only 6% of the obituaries included the directive, with only 2.2% of those mentioned charitable contributions instead. By the middle of the century, they had grown to 14.5%, with over 54% of those noting a charitable contribution as the preferred method of expressing sympathy. Today, well over 87% of them have such a note – but those statistics vary demographically.
The viewing typically takes place at a funeral home, which is equipped with gathering rooms where the viewing can be conducted, although the viewing may also take place at a church. The viewing may end with a prayer service; in a Roman Catholic funeral, this may include a rosary.
A visitation is often held the evening before the day of the funeral. However, when the deceased person is elderly the visitation may be held immediately preceding the funeral. This allows elderly friends of the deceased a chance to view the body and attend the funeral in one trip, since it may be difficult for them to arrange travel; this step may also be taken if the deceased has few survivors or the survivors want a funeral with only a small number of guests.
A memorial service, often called a funeral, is often officiated by clergy from the decedent's, or bereaved's, church or religion. A funeral may take place at either a funeral home, church, or crematorium or cemetery chapel. A funeral is held according to the family's choosing, which may be a few days after the time of death, allowing family members to attend the service. This type of memorial service is most common for Christians, and Roman Catholics call it a mass when Eucharist (communion) is offered, the casket is closed and a priest says prayers and blessings. A Roman Catholic funeral must take place in a parish church (usually that of the deceased, or that of the family grave, or a parish to which the deceased had special links). Sometimes family members or friends of the dead will say something. If the funeral service takes place in the funeral home (mostly it takes place in the funeral home's chapel) it can be directed by a clergy (mostly for Protestant churches and sometimes for Catholic churches) or hosted by a very close family member most common a parent. In some traditions if this service takes place in a funeral home it is the same if it would take place in a church. These services if taking place in a funeral home consists of prayers, blessings and eulogies from the family.
The open-casket service (which is common in North America) allows mourners to have a final opportunity to view the deceased and say good-bye. There is an order of precedence when approaching the casket at this stage that usually starts with the immediate family (siblings, parents, spouse, children); followed by other mourners, after which the immediate family may file past again, so they are the last to view their loved one before the coffin is closed. This opportunity can take place immediately before the service begins, or at the very end of the service. A Roman Catholic funeral must be closed-casket, and relatives are expected to attend the few days before the service.
Open casket funerals and visitations are very rare in some countries, such as the United Kingdom and most European countries, where it is usual for only close relatives to actually see the deceased person and not uncommon for no one to do so. The funeral service itself is almost invariably closed casket. Funeral homes are generally not used for funeral services, which are almost exclusively held in a church, cemetery, or crematorium chapel.
The deceased is usually transported from the funeral home to a church in a hearse, a specialized vehicle designed to carry casketed remains. The deceased is often transported in a procession (also called a funeral cortège), with the hearse, funeral service vehicles, and private automobiles traveling in a procession to the church or other location where the services will be held. In a number of jurisdictions, special laws cover funeral processions – such as requiring most other vehicles to give right-of-way to a funeral procession. Funeral service vehicles may be equipped with light bars and special flashers to increase their visibility on the roads. They may also all have their headlights on, to identify which vehicles are part of the cortege, although the practice also has roots in ancient Roman customs. After the funeral service, if the deceased is to be buried the funeral procession will proceed to a cemetery if not already there. If the deceased is to be cremated, the funeral procession may then proceed to the crematorium.
Religious funeral services commonly include prayers, readings from a sacred text, hymns (sung either by the attendees or a hired vocalist) and words of comfort by the clergy. Frequently, a relative or close friend will be asked to give a eulogy, which details happy memories and accomplishments rather than criticism. Sometimes the eulogy is delivered by clergy. Church bells may also be tolled both before and after the service.
In some religious denominations, for example, Roman Catholic, and Anglican, eulogies from loved ones are somewhat discouraged during this service. In such cases, the eulogy is only done by a member of the clergy. This tradition is giving way to eulogies read by family members or friends. In these religions the coffin is traditionally closed at the end of the wake and is not re-opened for the funeral service.
During the funeral and at the burial service, the casket may be covered with a large arrangement of flowers, called a casket spray. If the deceased served in a branch of the armed forces, the casket may be covered with a national flag; however, in the US, nothing should cover the national flag according to Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Paragraph 8i. If the funeral service is held in a church, the casket is normally covered in a white pall, which recalls the white garments of baptism.
Funeral customs vary from country to country. In the United States, any type of noise other than quiet whispering or mourning is considered disrespectful. A traditional fire department funeral consists of two raised aerial ladders. The firefighter(s) travel under the aerials on their ride, on the fire apparatus, to the cemetery. Once there, the grave service includes the playing of bagpipes. The pipes have come to be a distinguishing feature of a fallen hero's funeral. Also a "Last Alarm Bell" is rung. A portable fire department bell is tolled at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Sometimes, the burial service will immediately follow the funeral, in which case a funeral procession travels from the site of the memorial service to the burial site. In some other cases, the burial service is the funeral, in which case the procession might travel from the cemetery office to the grave site. Other times, the burial service takes place at a later time, when the final resting place is ready, if the death occurred in the middle of winter.
If the decedent served in a branch of the Armed forces, military rites are often accorded at the burial service.
In many religious traditions, pallbearers, usually males who are relatives or friends of the decedent, will carry the casket from the chapel (of a funeral home or church) to the hearse, and from the hearse to the site of the burial service. The pallbearers often sit in a special reserved section during the memorial service.
Most religions expect coffins to be kept closed during the burial ceremony. In Eastern Orthodox funerals, the coffins are reopened just before burial to allow mourners to look at the deceased one last time and give their final farewells. Greek funerals are an exception as the coffin is open during the whole procedure unless the state of the body does not allow it.
Morticians may ensure that all jewelry, including wristwatch, that were displayed at the wake are in the casket before it is buried or entombed. Custom requires that everything goes into the ground; however this is not true for Jewish services. Jewish tradition stipulates that nothing of value is buried with the deceased.
In the case of cremation such items are usually removed before the body goes into the furnace. Pacemakers are removed prior to cremation – if left in they could explode.
The family of the deceased may wish to have only a very small, private service, with just the deceased's closest family members and friends attending. This type of ceremony is not open to the public, but only to those invited.
A memorial service, or a commemoration is one given for the deceased when the body is not present. The service takes place after cremation or burial at sea, after donation of the body to an academic or research institution, or after the ashes have been scattered. It is also significant when the person is missing and presumed dead, or known to be deceased though the body is not recoverable. These services often take place at a funeral home; however, they can be held in a home, school, workplace, church or other location of some significance. A memorial service may include speeches (eulogies), prayers, poems, or songs to commemorate the deceased. Pictures of the deceased and flowers are usually placed where the coffin would normally be placed.
After the sudden deaths of important public officials, public memorial services have been held by communities, including those without any specific connection to the deceased. For examples, community memorial services were held after the assassinations of US presidents James A. Garfield and William McKinley.
A good funeral (as they were called) had one draw the curtains for a period of time; at the wake, when new visitors arrived, they would enter from the front door and leave through the back door. The women stayed at home whilst the men attended the funeral, the village priest would then visit the family at their home to talk about the deceased and to console them.
The first child of William Price, a Welsh Neo-Druidic priest, died in 1884. Believing that it was wrong to bury a corpse, and thereby pollute the earth, Price decided to cremate his son's body, a practice which had been common in Celtic societies. The police arrested him for the illegal disposal of a corpse. Price successfully argued in court that while the law did not state that cremation was legal, it also did not state that it was illegal. The case set a precedent that, together with the activities of the newly-founded Cremation Society of Great Britain, led to the Cremation Act 1902. The Act imposed procedural requirements before a cremation could occur and restricted the practice to authorised places.
In Finland, religious funerals (hautajaiset) are quite ascetic. The local priest or minister says prayers and blesses the deceased in their house. The mourners (saattoväki) traditionally bring food to the mourners' house. Nowadays the deceased is put into the coffin in the place where they died. The undertaker will pick up the coffin and place it in the hearse and drive it to the funeral home, while the closest relatives or friends of the deceased will follow the hearse in a funeral procession in their own cars. The coffin will be held at the funeral home until the day of the funeral. The funeral services may be divided into two parts. First is the church service (siunaustilaisuus) in a cemetery chapel or local church, then the burial.
In Poland, in urban areas, there are usually two, or just one “stop”. The body, brought by a hearse from the mortuary, may be taken to a church or to a cemetery chapel,Then there is a funeral mass or service at cemetery chapel. Following the mass or Service the casket is carried in procession (usually on foot) on a hearse to the grave. Once at the gravesite, the priest will commence the graveside committal service and the casket is lowered. The mass or service usually takes place at the cemetery.
In some traditional rural areas, the wake (czuwanie) takes place in the house of the deceased or their relatives. The body lies in state for three days in the house.The funeral usually takes place on the third day. Family, neighbors and friends gather and pray during the day and night on those three days and nights. There are usually three stages in the funeral ceremony (ceremonia pogrzebowa, pogrzeb): the wake (czuwanie), then the body is carried by procession (usually on foot) or people drive in their own cars to the church or cemetery chapel for mass, and another procession by foot to the gravesite.
After the funeral, families gather for a post-funeral get-together (stypa). It can be at the family home, or at a function hall. In Poland cremation is less popular because the Catholic Church in Poland doesn't allow it. Cremation is popular among non-religious and Protestants in Poland.
An old funeral rite from the Scottish Highlands involved burying the deceased with a wooden plate resting on his chest. On the plate were placed a small amount of earth and salt, to represent the future of the deceased. The earth hinted that the body would decay and become one with the earth, while the salt represented the soul, which does not decay. This rite was known as "earth laid upon a corpse". This practice was also carried out in Ireland, as well as in parts of England, particularly in Leicestershire, although in England the salt was intended to prevent air from distending the corpse.
In Spain, a burial or cremation may occur very soon after a death. Most Spaniards are Roman Catholics and follow Catholic funeral traditions. First, family and friends sit with the deceased during the wake until the burial. Wakes are a social event and a time to laugh and honor the dead. Following the wake comes the funeral mass (Tanatorio) at the church or cemetery chapel. Following the mass is the burial. The coffin is then moved from the church to the local cemetery, often with a procession of locals walking behind the hearse.
A growing number of families choose to hold a life celebration or celebration of life event for the deceased in addition to or instead of a traditional funeral. Such ceremonies may be held outside the funeral home or place of worship; restaurants, parks, pubs and sporting facilities are popular choices based on the specific interests of the deceased. Celebrations of life focus on a life that was lived, including the person's best qualities, interests, achievements and impact, rather than mourning a death. Some events are portrayed as joyous parties, instead of a traditional somber funeral. Taking on happy and hopeful tones, celebrations of life discourage wearing black and focus on the deceased's individuality. An extreme example might have "a fully stocked open bar, catered food, and even favors." Notable recent celebrations of life ceremonies include those for René Angélil and Maya Angelou.
Originating in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., alongside the emergence of jazz music in late 19th and early 20th centuries, the jazz funeral is a traditionally African-American burial ceremony and celebration of life unique to New Orleans that involves a parading funeral procession accompanied by a brass band playing somber hymns followed by upbeat jazz music. Traditional jazz funerals begin with a processional led by the funeral director, family, friends, and the brass band, i.e., the "main line", who march from the funeral service to the burial site while the band plays slow dirges and Christian hymns. After the body is buried, or "cut loose", the band begins to play up-tempo, joyful jazz numbers, as the main line parades through the streets and crowds of "second liners" join in and begin dancing and marching along, transforming the funeral into a street festival.
The terms "green burial" and "natural burial", used interchangeably, apply to ceremonies that aim to return the body with the earth with little to no use of artificial, non-biodegradable materials. As a concept, the idea of uniting an individual with the natural world after he or she dies appears as old as human death itself, being widespread before the rise of the funeral industry. Holding environmentally-friendly ceremonies as a modern concept first attracted widespread attention in the 1990s. In terms of North America, the opening of the first explicitly "green" burial cemetery in the U.S. took place in the state of South Carolina. However, the Green Burial Council, which came into being in 2005, has based its operations out of California. The instition works to officially certifies burial practices for funeral homes and cemeteries, making sure that appropriate materials are used.
Religiously, some adherents of the Roman Catholic Church often have particular interest in "green" funerals given the faith's preference to full burial of the body as well as the theological commitments to care for the environment stated in Catholic social teaching.
Those with concerns about the effects on the environment of traditional burial or cremation may be placed into a natural bio-degradable green burial shroud. That, in turn, sometimes gets placed into a simple coffin made of cardboard or other easily biodegradable material. Furthermore, individuals may choose their final resting place to be in a specially designed park or woodland, sometimes known as an "ecocemetery", and may have a tree or other item of greenery planted over their grave both as a contribution to the environment and a symbol of remembrance.
Humanists UK organises a network of humanist funeral celebrants or officiants across England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Channel Islands and a similar network is organised by the Humanist Society Scotland. Humanist officiants are trained and experienced in devising and conducting suitable ceremonies for non-religious individuals. Humanist funerals recognise no "afterlife", but celebrate the life of the person who has died. In the twenty-first century, humanist funerals were held for well-known people including Claire Rayner, Keith Floyd, Linda Smith, and Ronnie Barker.
In areas outside of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland has featured an increasing number of non-religious funeral arrangements according to publications such as Dublin Live. This has occurred in parallel with a trend of increasing numbers of people carefully scripting their own funerals before they die, writing the details of their own ceremonies. The Irish Association of Funeral Directors has reported that funerals without a religious focus occur mainly in more urbanized areas in contrast to rural territories. Notable secular-based funerals have been held in other nations such as the Republic of Malta, in which civil rights activist and humanist Ramon Casha had a large scale event at the Radisson Blu Golden Sands resort devoted to laying him to rest. Although such non-religious ceremonies are "a rare scene in Maltese society" due to the large role of the Roman Catholic Church within that country's culture, according to Lovin Malta, "more and more Maltese people want to know about alternate forms of burial... without any religion being involved."
Actual events during secular funerals vary, but they frequently reflect upon the interests and personality of the deceased. For example, the ceremony for the aforementioned Keith Floyd, a restaurateur and television personality, included a reading of Rudyard Kipling's poetic work If— and a performance by musician Bill Padley. Organizations such as the Irish Institute of Celebrants have stated that more and more regular individuals request training for administering funeral ceremonies, instead of leaving things to other individuals.
Civil funerals are an alternative to religious or humanist ceremonies in the UK. Unlike a humanist funeral, a civil funeral can contain some religious content, such as hymns or reading if the family wish.
Funerals specifically for fallen members of fire or police services are common in United States and Canada. These funerals involve honour guards from police forces and/or fire services from across the country and sometimes from overseas. A parade of officers often precedes or follows the hearse carrying the fallen comrade.
A Masonic funeral is held at the request of a departed Mason or family member. The service may be held in any of the usual places or a Lodge room with committal at graveside, or the complete service can be performed at any of the aforementioned places without a separate committal. Freemasonry does not require a Masonic funeral.
There is no single Masonic funeral service. Some Grand Lodges (it is a worldwide organisation) have a prescribed service. Some of the customs include the presiding officer wearing a hat while doing his part in the service, the Lodge members placing sprigs of evergreen on the casket, and a small white leather apron may being placed in or on the casket. The hat may be worn because it is Masonic custom (in some places in the world) for the presiding officer to have his head covered while officiating. To Masons the sprig of evergreen is a symbol of immortality. A Mason wears a white leather apron, called a "lambskin," on becoming a Mason, and he may continue to wear it even in death.
In most East Asian, South Asian and many Southeast Asian cultures, the wearing of white is symbolic of death. In these societies, white or off-white robes are traditionally worn to symbolize that someone has died and can be seen worn among relatives of the deceased during a funeral ceremony. In Chinese culture, red is strictly forbidden as it is a traditionally symbolic color of happiness. Exceptions are sometimes made if the deceased has reached an advanced age such as 85, in which case the funeral is considered a celebration, where wearing white with some red is acceptable. Contemporary Western influence however has meant that dark-colored or black attire is now often also acceptable for mourners to wear (particularly for those outside the family). In such cases, mourners wearing dark colors at times may also wear a white or off-white armband or white robe.
Contemporary South Korean funerals typically mix western culture with traditional Korean culture, largely depending on socio-economic status, region, and religion. In almost all cases, all related males in the family wear woven armbands representing seniority and lineage in relation to the deceased, and must grieve next to the deceased for a period of three days before burying the body. During this period of time, it is customary for the males in the family to personally greet all who come to show respect. While burials have been preferred historically, recent trends show a dramatic increase in cremations due to shortages of proper burial sites and difficulties in maintaining a traditional grave. The ashes of the cremated corpse are commonly stored in columbaria.
Most Japanese funerals are conducted with Buddhist and/or Shinto rites. Many ritually bestow a new name on the deceased; funerary names typically use obsolete or archaic kanji and words, to avoid the likelihood of the name being used in ordinary speech or writing. The new names are typically chosen by a Buddhist priest, after consulting the family of the deceased. Most Japanese are cremated.
Religious thought among the Japanese people is generally a blend of Shintō and Buddhist beliefs. In modern practice, specific rites concerning an individual's passage through life are generally ascribed to one of these two faiths. Funerals and follow-up memorial services fall under the purview of Buddhist ritual, and 90% Japanese funerals are conducted in a Buddhist manner. Aside from the religious aspect, a Japanese funeral usually includes a wake, the cremation of the deceased, and inclusion within the family grave. Follow-up services are then performed by a Buddhist priest on specific anniversaries after death.
According to an estimate in 2005, 99.82% of all deceased Japanese are cremated. In most cases the cremated remains are placed in an urn and then deposited in a family grave. In recent years however, alternative methods of disposal have become more popular, including scattering of the ashes, burial in outer space, and conversion of the cremated remains into a diamond that can be set in jewelry.
Funeral practices and burial customs in the Philippines encompass a wide range of personal, cultural, and traditional beliefs and practices which Filipinos observe in relation to death, bereavement, and the proper honoring, interment, and remembrance of the dead. These practices have been vastly shaped by the variety of religions and cultures that entered the Philippines throughout its complex history.
Most if not all present-day Filipinos, like their ancestors, believe in some form of an afterlife and give considerable attention to honouring the dead. Except amongst Filipino Muslims (who are obliged to bury a corpse less than 24 hours after death), a wake is generally held from three days to a week. Wakes in rural areas are usually held in the home, while in urban settings the dead is typically displayed in a funeral home. Friends and neighbors bring food to the family, such as pancit noodles and bibingka cake; any leftovers are never taken home by guests, because of a superstition against it. Apart from spreading the news about someone's death verbally, obituaries are also published in newspapers. Although the majority of the Filipino people are Christians, they have retained some traditional indigenous beliefs concerning death.
In Korea, funerals are typically held for three days and different things are done in each day.
The first day: on the day a person dies, the body is moved to a funeral hall. They prepare clothes for the body and put them into a chapel of rest. Then food is prepared for the deceased. It is made up of three bowls of rice and three kinds of Korean side dishes. Also, there has to be three coins and three straw shoes. This can be cancelled if the family of the dead person have a particular religion.
On the second day the funeral director washes the body and shrouding is done. Then, a family member of the dead person puts uncooked rice in the mouth of the body. This step does not have to be done if the family has a certain religion. After putting the rice in the mouth, the body is moved into a coffin. Family members, including close relatives, of the dead person will wear mourning clothing. Typically, mourning for a woman includes Korean traditional clothes, Hanbok, and mourning for man includes a suit. The color has to be black. The ritual ceremony begins when they are done with changing clothes and preparing foods for the dead person. The ritual ceremony is different depending on their religion. After the ritual ceremony family members will start to greet guests.
On the third day, the family decides whether to bury the body in the ground or cremate the body. If they decide to bury the body in the ground, three people from the family sprinkle dirt on the coffin three times. In case of cremation, there are no specific things to be done like ground burial. The only thing needed is a jar to place burned bones in and a place to keep the jar.
Like many other cultures, funeral practices in Mongolia are the most important rituals that they follow. They have mixed their rituals with Buddhists due to creating a new, unique way of death.
For Mongolians who are very strict when it comes to their traditions, there were three different ways of burial that families could choose from. The main one being open-air burial, and the others being cremation and embalming. There were many factors that went into deciding which funeral practice to do. These consisted of the family's social standing, the cause of death and the specific location they died at. The main people that were chosen to be embalmed were the people apart of the Lamaistic Church, by choosing this practice, they are usually buried in a sitting position. This would show that they would always be in the position of prayer. Also, more important people such as Nobles would be buried with weapons, horses and food in their coffins to help them prepare for the next world.
The coffin is built specifically designed by three to four relatives, mainly men. In order to determine how big the coffin will be, the builders bring planks to the hut that the dead is located and put together the box and the lid to go with it. The same people who help put together the coffin also help decorate the funeral. Most of this work is done after the sun goes down. With very specific instruction, they work on decorations inside the youngest daughters house. The reason for this is so the deceased is not disturbed at night.
The body of the deceased is moved to a loved one's house and placed in an expensive coffin. The body usually stays there for about three days, allowing time for people to visit and place gifts in the mouth. This stems from the Vietnamese belief that the dead should be surrounded by their family. This belief goes so far as to include superstition as well. If somebody is dying in Vietnamese culture, they are rushed home from the hospital so they can die there, because if they die away from home it is believed to be bad luck to take a corpse home.
Many services are also held in the Vietnamese burial practices. One is held before moving the coffin from the home and the other is held at the burial site. After the burial of the loved one, incense is burned at the gravesite and respect is paid to all the nearby graves. Following this, the family and friends return to the home and enjoy a feast to celebrate the life of the recently departed. Even after the deceased has been buried, the respect and honor continues. For the first 49 days after the burying, the family holds a memorial service every 7 days, where the family and friends come back together to celebrate the life of their loved one. After this, they meet again on the 100th day after the death, then 265 days after the death, and finally they meet on the anniversary of the death of their loved one, a whole year later, to continue to continue to celebrate the glorious life of their recently departed.
African funerals are usually open to many visitors. The custom of burying the dead in the floor of dwelling-houses has been to some degree prevalent on the Gold Coast of Africa. The ceremony depends on the traditions of the ethnicity the deceased belonged to. The funeral may last for as much as a week. Another custom, a kind of memorial, frequently takes place seven years after the person's death. These funerals and especially the memorials may be extremely expensive for the family in question. Cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry, may be offered and then consumed.
The Ashanti and Akan ethnic groups in Ghana typically wear red and black during funerals. For special family members, there is typically a funeral celebration with singing and dancing to honor the life of the deceased. Afterwards, the Akan hold a sombre funeral procession and burial with intense displays of sorrow. Other funerals in Ghana are held with the deceased put in elaborate "fantasy coffins" colored and shaped after a certain object, such as a fish, crab, boat, and even airplanes. The Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop in Teshie, named after Seth Kane Kwei who invented this new style of coffin, has become an international reference for this form of art.
Some diseases, such as Ebola can be spread by funerary customs including touching the dead. However, safe burials can be achieved by following simple procedures. For example, letting relatives see the face of the dead before bodybags are closed and taking photographs, if desired, can greatly reduce the risk of infection without impacting too heavily on the customs of burial.
In Kenya funerals are an expensive undertaking. Keeping bodies in morgues to allow for fund raising is a common occurrence more so in urban areas. Some families opt to bury their dead in the countryside homes instead of urban cemeteries, thus spending more money on transporting the dead.
The first emperor of the Qin dynasty, Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum is located in the Lintong District of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Qin Shi Huang's tomb is one of the World Heritage sites in China. Its remarkable feature and size have been known as one of the most important historical sites in China. Qin Shi Huang is the first emperor who united China for the first time. The mausoleum was built in 247 BC after he became the emperor of Qin Dynasty.
Ancient Chinese mausoleums have unique characteristics compared to other cultures. Ancient Chinese thought that the soul remains even after death, (immortal soul) regarded funeral practices as an important tradition. From their long history, the construction of mausoleums has developed over time, creating monumental and massive ancient emperor's tomb.
Archeologists have found more than 8,000 life-sized figures resembling an army surrounding the emperor's tomb. The primary purpose of the placement of Terracotta Army is to protect the emperor's tomb. The figures were composed of clay and fragments of pottery. The Terracotta Army resembles the soldiers, horses, government officials, and even musicians. All of the figures were made so acutely and delicately. The arrangement and the weapons they are carrying resembled entirely to the real weapons at that time. Furthermore, their facial features weren't identical, but with unique features and details.
The Imperial Tombs of Ming and Qing Dynasties are included as World Heritage Sites. The three Imperial Tombs of Qin Dynasty were additionally inscribed in 2000 and 2003. The three tombs were all built in the 17th century. The tombs have been constructed to praise the emperors of Qing Dynasty and their ancestors. In tradition, Chinese have followed the Feng Shui to build and decorate the interior. All of the tombs are strictly made followed by the Feng Shui theory. Harmony between the architecture and the surrounding topographical structure were seen as an integral part of nature. According to the Feng Shi theory, to build a tomb, there must be a mountain on the northern side and low land on the south. In the west and east, a river must be located.
The Imperial Tombs of Ming and Qing Dynasties clearly shows the cultural and architectural tradition that has swayed the area for more than 500 years. There is a great harmony between the surrounding nature and the architecture. In Chinese culture, the tombs were considered as a portal between the world of the living and the dead. Chinese believed that the portal would divide the soul into two parts. The half of the soul would go to heaven, and the other half would remain within the physical body.
From about 1600 to 1914 there were two professions in Europe now almost totally forgotten. The mute is depicted in art quite frequently but in literature is probably best known from Dickens's Oliver Twist. Oliver is working for Mr. Sowerberry when this conversation takes place: "There's an expression of melancholy in his face, my dear... which is very interesting. He would make a delightful mute, my love". And in Martin Chuzzlewit, Moult, the undertaker, states, "This promises to be one of the most impressive funerals,...no limitation of expense...I have orders to put on my whole establishment of mutes, and mutes come very dear, Mr Pecksniff." The main purpose of a funeral mute was to stand around at funerals with a sad, pathetic face. A symbolic protector of the deceased, the mute would usually stand near the door of the home or church. In Victorian times, mutes would wear somber clothing including black cloaks, top hats with trailing hatbands, and gloves.
The professional mourner, generally a woman, would shriek and wail (often while clawing her face and tearing at her clothing), to encourage others to weep. Forms of professional mourning are recorded from Ancient Greece, and were commonly employed throughout Europe until the beginning of the nineteenth century. The 2003 award-winning Philippine comedy Crying Ladies revolves around the lives of three women who are part-time professional mourners for the Chinese-Filipino community in Manila's Chinatown. According to the film, the Chinese use professional mourners to help expedite the entry of a deceased loved one's soul into heaven by giving the impression that he or she was a good and loving person, well-loved by many.
High-ranking national figures such as heads of state, prominent politicians, military figures, national heroes and eminent cultural figures may be offered state funerals.
Common methods of disposal are:
Some people choose to make their funeral arrangements in advance so that at the time of their death, their wishes are known to their family. However, the extent to which decisions regarding the disposition of a decedent's remains (including funeral arrangements) can be controlled by the decedent while still alive vary from one jurisdiction to another. In the United States, there are states which allow one to make these decisions for oneself if desired, for example by appointing an agent to carry out one's wishes; in other states, the law allows the decedent's next-of-kin to make the final decisions about the funeral without taking the wishes of the decedent into account.
The decedent may, in most U.S. jurisdictions, provide instructions as to the funeral by means of a last will and testament. These instructions can be given some legal effect if bequests are made contingent on the heirs carrying them out, with alternative gifts if they are not followed. This requires the will to become available in time; aspects of the disposition of the remains of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran contrary to a number of his stated wishes, which were found in a safe that was not opened until after the funeral.
Some people donate their bodies to a medical school for use in research or education. Medical students frequently study anatomy from donated cadavers; they are also useful in forensic research. Some medical conditions, such as amputations or various surgeries can make the cadaver unsuitable for these purposes; in other cases the bodies of people who had certain medical conditions are useful for research into those conditions. Many medical schools rely on the donation of cadavers for the teaching of anatomy.
Offered in England since April 2002, the Civil Funeral is a ceremony that reflects the beliefs and values of the deceased rather than those of the minister, officiant or Celebrant.
Antyesti (IAST: Antyeṣṭi, Sanskrit: अन्त्येष्टि) literally means "last sacrifice", and refers to the funeral rites for the dead in Hinduism. This rite of passage is one of traditional Saṃskāras in the life of a Hindu. It is also referred to as Antima Sanskar, Antya-kriya, Anvarohanyya, or as Vahni Sanskara.The details of the Antyesti ceremony depends on the region, caste, gender and age of the dead.Buddhist funeral
In Buddhism, death marks the transition from this life to the next for the deceased.
Among Buddhists, death is regarded as an occasion of major religious significance, both for the deceased and for the survivors. For the deceased, it marks the moment when the transition begins to a new mode of existence within the round of rebirths. When death occurs, all the karmic forces that the dead person accumulated during the course of his or her lifetime become activated and determine the next rebirth. For the living, death is a powerful reminder of the Buddha's teaching on impermanence; it also provides an opportunity to assist the deceased person as he or she fares on to the new existence. BuddhaNet has published a guidance article about the subject, which also discusses the traditions of different Buddhist schools. There are also several academic reviews of this subject.Chapel
The term chapel usually refers to a Christian place of prayer and worship that is attached to a larger, often nonreligious institution or that is considered an extension of a primary religious institution. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a college, hospital, palace, prison, funeral home, church, synagogue or mosque, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. Chapel has also referred to independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church.Until the Protestant Reformation, a chapel denoted a place of worship that was either at a secondary location that was not the main responsibility of the local parish priest, or that belonged to a person or institution. The earliest Christian places of worship are now often referred to as chapels, as they were not dedicated buildings but rather a dedicated chamber within a building. Most larger churches had one or more secondary altars which, if they occupied a distinct space, would often be called a chapel. In Russian Orthodox tradition, the chapels were built underneath city gates, where most people could visit them. The most famous example is the Iberian Chapel.
Although chapels frequently refer to Christian places of worship, they are also commonly found in Jewish synagogues and do not necessarily denote a specific denomination. In England—where the Church of England is established by law—non-denominational or inter-faith chapels in such institutions may nonetheless be consecrated by the local Anglican bishop. Non-denominational chapels are commonly encountered as part of a non-religious institution such as a hospital, airport, university or prison. Many military installations have chapels for the use of military personnel, normally under the leadership of a military chaplain.Cremation
Cremation is a method of final disposition wherein combustion, vaporization, and oxidation turns cadavers to basic chemical compounds, such as gases, ashes and mineral fragments retaining the appearance of dry bone. Cremation may serve as a funeral or post-funeral rite as an alternative to the interment of an intact dead body in a coffin or casket. Cremated remains (also known as "cremains" or simply "ashes"), which do not constitute a health risk, may be buried or interred in memorial sites or cemeteries, or they may be retained by relatives and dispersed in various ways. Cremation is an alternative in place of burial or other forms of disposal in funeral practices. Some families prefer to have the deceased present at the funeral with cremation to follow; others prefer that the cremation occur prior to the funeral or memorial service.
In many countries, cremation is usually done in a crematorium. However, in the Indian subcontinent, notably modern-day India and Nepal, different methods, such as open-air cremation, are preferred.Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. Reagan was the first former U.S. president to die since Richard Nixon in 1994. At the age of 93 years and 120 days, Reagan was the longest-lived U.S. president in history until November 12, 2006, when his record was then surpassed by Gerald Ford. His seven-day state funeral followed. After Reagan's death, his body was taken from his Bel Air, Los Angeles home to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California to prepare the body for burial. On June 7, Reagan's casket was transported by hearse and displayed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, then flown to Washington, D.C. on June 9 for a service, public viewing and tributes at the U.S. Capitol.
After lying in state for 34 hours in the Capitol rotunda, a state funeral service was conducted at the Washington National Cathedral on June 11, the day when President George W. Bush declared a national day of mourning. Later that day, after the service, Reagan's casket was transported back to California for interment at the Reagan Presidential Library. The state funeral was executed by the Military District of Washington (MDW). Reagan was the first former U.S. president to die in the 21st century.Doom metal
Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal with songs such as "Black Sabbath", "Children of the Grave", "Electric Funeral" and "Into the Void". During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England (Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General), the United States (Pentagram, Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Trouble) and Sweden (Candlemass, and later, Count Raven) defined doom metal as a distinct genre.Effigy
An effigy is a representation of a specific person in the form of sculpture or some other three-dimensional medium. The use of the term is normally restricted to certain contexts in a somewhat arbitrary way: recumbent effigies on tombs are so called, but standing statues of individuals, or busts, are usually not. Likenesses of religious figures in sculpture are not normally called effigies. Effigies are common elements of funerary art, especially as a recumbent effigy (in a lying position) in stone or metal placed on a tomb, or a less permanent "funeral effigy", placed on the coffin in a grand funeral, wearing real clothing.
Figures, often caricatural in style, that are damaged, destroyed or paraded in order to harm the person represented by magical means, or merely to mock or insult them or their memory, are also called effigies. It is common to burn an effigy of a person ("burn in effigy") as an act of protest.
The word is first documented in English in 1539 and comes, perhaps via French, from the Latin effigies, meaning "representation". This spelling was originally used in English for singular senses: even a single image was "the effigies of ...". (This spelling seems to have been later reanalyzed as a plural, creating the singular effigy.) In effigie was probably understood as a Latin phrase until the 18th century. The word occurs in Shakespeare's As You Like It of 1600 (II, vii, 193), where scansion suggests that the second syllable is to be emphasized, as in the Latin pronunciation (but unlike the modern English pronunciation).Four Weddings and a Funeral
Four Weddings and a Funeral is a 1994 British romantic comedy film directed by Mike Newell. It was the first of several films by screenwriter Richard Curtis to feature Hugh Grant, and follows the adventures of Charles (Grant) and his circle of friends through a number of social occasions as they each encounter romance. Andie MacDowell stars as Charles' love interest Carrie, with Kristin Scott Thomas, James Fleet, Simon Callow, John Hannah, Charlotte Coleman, David Bower, Corin Redgrave and Rowan Atkinson in supporting roles.
It was made in six weeks and cost under £3 million, becoming an unexpected success and the highest-grossing British film in history at the time, with worldwide box office in excess of $245.7 million, and receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. In addition to this, Grant won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the film also won the BAFTA Awards Best Film, Best Direction and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Scott Thomas. The success of the film propelled Hugh Grant to international stardom, particularly in the United States.In 1999, Four Weddings and a Funeral placed 23rd on the British Film Institute's 100 greatest British films of the 20th century. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine ranked it the 74th best British film ever.Curtis reunited director Newell and the surviving cast for a 25th anniversary reunion Comic Relief short entitled One Red Nose Day and a Wedding, which aired in the UK during Red Nose Day on Friday 15 March 2019.Funeral director
A funeral director, also known as an undertaker (British English) or mortician (American English), is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites. These tasks often entail the embalming and burial or cremation of the dead, as well as the arrangements for the funeral ceremony (although not the directing and conducting of the funeral itself unless clergy are not present). Funeral directors may at times be asked to perform tasks such as dressing (in garments usually suitable for daily wear), casketing (placing the human body in the coffin), and cossetting (applying any sort of cosmetic or substance to the best viewable areas of the corpse for the purpose of enhancing its appearance). A funeral director may work at a funeral home or be an independent employee.Funeral for a Friend
Funeral for a Friend were a Welsh post-hardcore band from Bridgend, formed in 2001. The band consisted of lead vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye and guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts for its entire history, with Darran Smith (guitar), Gareth Davies (bass) and Ryan Richards (drums and screaming vocals) completing the line-up for the band's first four studio albums. Between 2008 and 2012 the band transitioned towards its final line-up, which saw Davies-Kreye and Coombs-Roberts alongside guitarist and occasional vocalist Gavin Burrough, bassist Richard Boucher and drummer Pat Lundy (who left the band in 2014).
Funeral for a Friend's popularity rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their debut album, Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation (2003). Achieving both a gold certification and three top twenty singles in their home country, Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation is often acclaimed as one of the landmark emo records of the 2000s. Hours (2005) featured a similar musical style to their debut, but also featured more melodic sensibilities, and Tales Don't Tell Themselves (2007) showed an evolution in Funeral for a Friend's musical style from the style which defined their debut, as the group began to diverge from their use of screaming vocals and post-hardcore influenced guitars, favouring a more melodic rock influence. These albums achieved gold and silver sales certificates respectively in the UK.
Funeral for a Friend self-released their fourth album, Memory and Humanity (2008) through their short-lived record label Join Us, the album arguably being their most eclectic to date. Following this the band tied themselves to other independent labels for Welcome Home Armageddon (2011) Conduit (2013), and Chapter and Verse (2015), which showed the band returning to the more metal and hardcore influenced style of their earlier work. In September 2015 they announced their break-up and final tour in 2016. On 21 May 2016, they played their last performance to a sold-out Forum in London.Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales
The public funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales started on 6 September 1997 at 9:08am in London, when the tenor bell sounded to signal the departure of the cortège from Kensington Palace. The coffin was carried from the palace on a gun carriage, along Hyde Park to St. James's Palace, where Diana's body had remained for five days before being taken to Kensington Palace. The Union Flag on top of the palace was lowered to half mast. The official ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey in London and finished at the resting place in Althorp.Two thousand people attended the ceremony in Westminster Abbey while the British television audience peaked at 32.10 million, one of the United Kingdom's highest viewing figures ever. An estimated 2.5 billion people watched the event worldwide, making it one of the biggest televised events in history.Hearse
A hearse is a vehicle used to carry the dead in a coffin/casket. They range from deliberately anonymous vehicles to very formal heavily decorated vehicles.
In the funeral trade of some countries hearses are called funeral coaches.Norse funeral
Norse funerals, or the burial customs of Viking Age North Germanic Norsemen (early medieval Scandinavians), are known both from archaeology and from historical accounts such as the Icelandic sagas and Old Norse poetry.
Throughout Scandinavia, there are many remaining tumuli in honour of Viking kings and chieftains, in addition to runestones and other memorials. Some of the most notable of them are at the Borre mound cemetery, in Norway, at Birka in Sweden and Lindholm Høje, and Jelling in Denmark.
A prominent tradition is that of the ship burial, where the deceased was laid in a boat, or a stone ship, and given grave offerings in accordance with his earthly status and profession, sometimes including sacrificed slaves. Afterwards, piles of stone and soil were usually laid on top of the remains in order to create a tumulus. Additional practices included sacrifice or cremation, but the most common was to bury the departed with goods that denoted their social status.Obituary
An obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.
Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.Pyre
A pyre (Ancient Greek: πυρά; pyrá, from πῦρ, pyr, "fire"), also known as a funeral pyre, is a structure, usually made of wood, for burning a body as part of a funeral rite or execution. As a form of cremation, a body is placed upon or under the pyre, which is then set on fire.
In discussing ancient Greek religion, "pyre" (the normal Greek word for fire anglicized) is also used for the sacred fires at altars, on which parts of the animal sacrifice were burnt as an offering to the deity.Requiem
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum), is a Mass in the Catholic Church offered for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal. It is usually, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.
Musical settings of the propers of the Requiem Mass are also called Requiems, and the term has subsequently been applied to other musical compositions associated with death, dying, and mourning, even when they lack religious or liturgical relevance.
The term is also used for similar ceremonies outside the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglicanism and in certain Lutheran churches. A comparable service, with a wholly different ritual form and texts, exists in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as in the Methodist Church.The Mass and its settings draw their name from the introit of the liturgy, which begins with the words "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" – "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord". ("Requiem" is the accusative singular form of the Latin noun requies, "rest, repose".) The Roman Missal as revised in 1970 employs this phrase as the first entrance antiphon among the formulas for Masses for the dead, and it remains in use to this day.Six Feet Under (TV series)
Six Feet Under is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It premiered on the premium network HBO in the United States on June 3, 2001, and ended on August 21, 2005, spanning five seasons and 63 episodes. It depicts the lives of the Fisher family, who run a funeral home in Los Angeles, along with their friends and lovers.
The ensemble drama stars Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathew St. Patrick, and Rachel Griffiths as the central characters. It was produced by Actual Size Films and The Greenblatt/Janollari Studio, and was shot on location in Los Angeles and in Hollywood studios.
Six Feet Under received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its writing and acting, and consistently drew high ratings for the HBO network. It is considered one of the greatest television series of all time, included on TIME magazine's "All-TIME 100 TV Shows", as well as Empire magazine's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list. The show's finale has also been described as one of the greatest television series finales. The series won numerous awards, including nine Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Peabody Award.State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honour people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition. Generally, state funerals are held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning after the family of the deceased gives consent. A state funeral will often generate mass publicity from both national and global media outlets.Westboro Baptist Church
Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an American church known for its use of inflammatory hate speech, especially against LGBT+ people (homophobia and transphobia), Catholics (anti-Catholicism), Orthodox Christians (anti-Orthodoxy), atheists (anti-atheism), Muslims (Islamophobia), Jews (antisemitism), Romani people (antiziganism), and U.S. soldiers and politicians (anti-Americanism). Multiple sources describe it as a hate group and the WBC is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The church has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991, when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at Gage Park six blocks northwest of the church. In addition to conducting anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets celebrity funerals and public events. Protests have also been held against Jews and Catholics, and some protests have included WBC members stomping on the American flag or flying the flag upside down on a flagpole. The church also has made statements such as "thank God for dead soldiers," "God blew up the troops," "thank God for 9/11," and "God hates America." The church has faced several accusations of brainwashing and has been criticised for resembling a cult.The church is headquartered in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about 3 miles (5 km) west of the Kansas State Capitol. Its first public service was held on the afternoon of November 27, 1955. The church was headed by Fred Phelps before his death in March 2014, though church representatives said the church had had no defined leader for some time before his death. The church consists primarily of members of Phelps's extended family, and in 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members.The WBC is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination, although it describes itself as Primitive Baptist and following the five points of Calvinism. Many other Baptist churches, Baptist-affiliated seminaries, and Baptist conventions, including the Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention (the two largest Baptist denominations), have denounced the WBC over the years. In addition, other mainstream Christian denominations have condemned the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church.