Funerals around the world and the difference between celebrating a life lived or mourning a lost life?
Do you believe that death is the one thing everyone has to deal with, and do you believe in celebrating a life lived or mourning one lost?
Of course, we are all going to inevitably face death ourselves, but before that, most of us will also have to suffer mourning a lost life. Let’s examine how this is different in funerals around the world.
What sets us apart is the fact that we all have different ways of mourning and grieving. The ways we handle death differs not only from person to person but also from the community to the community.
Funeral plan expert Haylee from Golden Leaves explained ‘The different processes each religion goes through is really very interesting. In my role as a funeral planner, I have had to learn so much about different cultures and their beliefs. Every culture has its own traditions and customs regarding death, funerals, and burials. In Spain, one of the most notable national holidays is called All Saints’ Day. On this day, family members dress up in their best clothes, purchase flowers, and visit the graves of their loved ones. It’s a real celebration of life as opposed to mourning which is totally different from how people in England approach death.”
Do you believe the ways we deal with loss can be strongly influenced by our religious beliefs? Some religions cremate their dead while others prefer burial. Some faiths go through grieving rituals that last long after the funeral, while others prefer to end the observances when the funeral is complete. Traditions within religions themselves can also be rather diverse, varying from religion to religion and country to country.
Here we look at a few different religions, how they conduct funerals around the world in varying countries and how each of them go about celebrating a life lived and mourning a lost life.
Usually, bodies are cremated in Buddhism, to follow the example of the Buddha, but families might choose to bury their loved ones, too. In either case, there will be a three-day period of worship after the person is buried or cremated, to wish for a peaceful departure for their soul.
Memorial services are traditionally held on the third, seventh, 49th, and 100th day after the death and the family will come back to the temple during these days for more services. It’s a long process, but the belief is that the soul needs to pass seven ports before going to heaven.
The service on the 49th day is so that family and loved ones can pray for forgiveness for any sins that the person committed during their life so that they can have a peaceful reincarnation.
The 100th-day service is when the family recognises that this person’s soul has gone onto its next life and it’s time to finish the grieving process and let them go so that they don’t become a ghost trapped in this world.
Do you believe in cremation as a funeral ritual? Well, Cremation is forbidden in Islam, so the body is buried as soon as possible from the time of the death. Funeral preparations begin immediately and the body has to be washed for burial. This is usually done by family members. Male family members will wash the body of a man who has died, while female family members wash the body of a woman who died. After that, the body is covered in three pieces of clean white cloth and the body is put into a position of prayer, if possible, with one hand on the chest and the other hand on top of it.
Traditionally, when a person dies, they are cremated. It’s done as quickly as possible after a person dies so that the soul can find a new body to inhabit.
After the cremation, there are no prayers or rituals for the next 13 days, because it is believed that for the first nine days after the cremation, the soul is still connected to the body. Days 10 to twelve are so that the soul has time to leave the body. Then, there is a celebration on the 13th day to mark that the soul has left.
A year after the person dies, the family will hold a ‘sraddha,’ a memorial event that pays homage to them.
In Judaism, the funeral occurs ideally within 24 hours of one’s passing. Shiva (‘sitting,’ in Hebrew) begins right after the funeral, lasting for seven days. This practice is really beautiful; it is a time in which mourners refrain from work, receive visits from loved ones, recite mourner’s kaddish (memorial prayer), and simply sit. It is a mitzvah ( good deed) to visit mourners and comfort them.
This process of shiva really allows grievers to relax and distract their mind with love. This period of bereavement continues past the shiva where families will resume work activities but refrain from certain levels of entertainment.
As you can see, funerals around the world are different depending on religious believe and Christianity is no different. Christians believe that when someone dies, they are judged by God. The righteous go to Heaven and the sinners go to Hell.
When a Christian dies, it is seen as the end of his/her life on earth. A funeral is held for friends and family to grieve for the person who has died and give thanks for their life.
If someone is on their deathbed, a minister will prepare them for death. This is most likely after a long period of illness. Prayers of preparation and reconciliation may be said, with only the minister in the room. Family and friends can participate in the Lord’s Prayer, the Word of God and Holy Communion.
Often, the deceased will have left information in his/her will concerning what they want to be included in the funeral service (hymns, prayers) and will also say whether they wanted to be buried or cremated.
The funeral is held about a week after death. It can either take place in a church or at a crematorium.
We hope you enjoyed reading about funerals around the world in this article “Do you believe in celebrating a life lived or mourning a lost life?”. If you enjoyed this article then you may also enjoy “How to help change the future of Medicine after your death”
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