Burial and funeral customs are the methods and ceremonies used in the disposing of the remains of a deceased person. People have always had a deep reverence for the dead.
The funeral ceremonies they have adopted have grown out of their views on death and the after life. The most common methods of disposing of bodies are; interment (burial) and cremation (burning). Examples of burial have been documented through time including the entombment of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.
Funeral customs directly relate to the beliefs of the deceased and the family left behind. When we experience a death of someone we love, a funeral service fills several important needs.
First it provides a dignified, respectful way to care for the deceased. It allows time to have a special tribute to express our feelings about someone you have lost. It allows us to acknowledge that we have had a loss. It gives the opportunity for those who surround us to give us support. Having a funeral services allows us to face the reality of the death and gives us time to accept that life has changed. It allows us to begin the grieving process with a support system of family, friends and the community. A funeral service gives us time to reflect and most importantly a time to say goodbye.
Importance and reasons for rituals
Rituals are symbolic experiences, together with our families and friends, to express our deepest thoughts and feelings about life’s most important events. For example, a birthday party celebrates a mile stone of another year of life. A wedding publicly affirms the union of two individuals.
What do these two rituals in common? First the are a public event’s. Families, friends, church members, communities and sometimes even nations gather to share. Rituals united us.
Rituals are symbolic. Just like wedding rings are a symbol of eternity, a circle with no begin or end. It is a symbol letting others know that you have vowed yourself to another.
A funeral is a ritual too, it is public, traditional and symbolic means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone loved. It allows us to express our deepest thoughts and feelings about an important life event.