A Look at Funeral and Disposition Customs. Sueann F. Schwille, MSW, FSL Karl Schwille, FSL.
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“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for it’s dead, and I will show you with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of it’s people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals.”
-Sir William Gladstone
Anthropologists have discovered evidence that Neanderthal man instinctively used ritual and ceremony when caring for their dead.
Considered to be the most influential of all ancient civilizations on modern day funerary practices.
The physical body of the deceased was preserved in an effort to prevent the three parts of the soul from being separated.
Early literary sources such as the Iliad stress the importance of a proper burial and view failing to provide burial rites as disgraceful to the humanity of the deceased (Iliad, 23.71).
Funerals were an important part Roman custom to preserve the heritage of the family.
The dead were considered unclean and those who came in contact with the dead were declared unclean.
"Whosoever is unclean by the dead shall be put outside the camp, that they defile not the camp in the midst of which the Lord dwells."
Burial of Christian remains have always been deemed as important as evidenced by the stressing of the “Resurrection of the Dead.”
Leonardo Da Vinci developed a system of venous injection that was the precursor to modern embalming.
In early 17th Century through the 18th Century, a greater understanding of the circulatory system was helpful as the art of arterial embalming emerged.
“Islam” means the “achievement of peace with Allah and man and complete resignation to Allah in thoughts, words, beliefs and deeds”
Islamic customs require…
There are no photos allowed
The death is immediately announced to all family and friends
The body is bathed and covered in white cotton
Within 2 days following the death the body is carried to the graveyard by 4 men. A procession of friends and relatives follow
No discussion takes place at the time of the burial but all pray for the soul of the departed
As a religion Hindu has no founder, no common creed or doctrine.
Judaism focuses on how life should be lived not on defining an afterlife.
The goal of the Buddhist is to escape the cycle of rebirth by achieving Nirvana:
Historic Irish Wake
The New Orleans Jazz Funeral salutes a life well lived and the passage of a departed soul into a better world.
Wiccan funerals share characteristics with those that choose green or eco-friendly burial customs.
Most Mexican Americans are Catholic and consider the funeral an important part of life.
Arlington National Cemetery
Services provided for:
Retired Military Members
Veterans with Silver Star and above
Cremated Remains of Any Veteran
Spouses of Eligible Service Members