The Funeral Traditions of Different Culture and Religion

The funerals I’ve attended have all been very much the same. Relatives and friends arrive in all black and take seats in the church or synagogue pews for a somber ceremony where prayers are said, memories are shared and tears are shed. The attendees walk slowly out to their cars and form a single file line a behind the hearse, arriving at the graveyard where they place roses on the casket just before it’s lowered into the ground. Then, they proceed to the immediate family’s home, where the doorbell rings with a steady stream of loved ones casserole dishes in hand since, in the days ahead, people often forget to eat.

A funeral usually consists of a religious service followed by a procession to the cemetery or crematory. A brief service usually takes place as the body is buried or cremated. Most funeral services as held in chapels, mortuaries, or in churches. Muslims bury their dead as soon as possible. The body is buried with face facing towards the holy city of Mecca. Signs of grief are discouraged, for Muslims believe they should accept the will of God without murmur.

Hindus in India perfume the corpse and adorn it with flowers. They then burn it, and later throw the ashes in the Ganges River. Buddhists believe in reincarnation and that death is a transformation into the next incarnation. Each incarnation brings the soul closer to nirvana, which offers complete spiritual enlightenment. Because of this belief, Buddhist funerals celebrate the soul’s ascent from the body, rather than the demise of the body itself. 

Beside different funeral tradition in religion, there are different tradition in many culture. For example Traditional cremations in Bali are a colorful and elaborate event that can take weeks or even months to prepare.

The coffin, or Lembu, is shaped like an ox or horse and decorated with gold and red. The Waddhu is a decorative tower carried during the funeral procession. Orthodox, Russian rituals, that are held to say farewell to the deceased one. Eastern Orthodox funerals are important rituals with a set structure. There will often be an open coffin, which mourners will circle round in an anti-clockwise direction. Priests sprinkle soil and holy water onto the person who has died as part of the traditional funeral ritual.

Another example Aboriginal mortuary rites in Australia. When a loved one dies in Aboriginal society in Australia’s Northern Territory, elaborate rituals begin. First, a smoking ceremony is held in the loved one’s living area to drive away their spirit. Next a feast is held, with mourners painted ochre as they partake in food and dance. The body is traditionally placed atop a platform and covered in leaves as it is left to decompose. It has been reported that in some traditions, fluids from the platform can help identify the deceased’s killer.

What will your funeral be like? Will you have a traditional ceremony or modern celebration of life? You make arrangements in advance and know you’re getting the farewell you want with a funeral service company to prepare a funeral in Sydney.

A funeral service, whether traditional or more modern  has two primary functions to publicly acknowledge the death and lifetime achievements of an individual and to bring grieving family members and friends together in support of one another during this difficult time of transition. While the event also involves the final care of the physical remains of the deceased through burial or post-funeral cremation, the service helps repair the tear of the social fabric of a community caused by the death and helps grieving friends and family members through an orchestrated time of social support.

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