The high cost of funerals
It is never a good feeling or experience when one hears about funerals, especially if the person being laid to rest is a loved one or a close acquaintance. In some cases, funerals can be a unique experience despite the somber atmosphere of saying goodbye and recalling the good moments with the deceased. There are funerals followed by a military or crowd procession or a necrological service or eulogy, and a few would only be an intimate gathering of friends and relatives to say goodbye to the recently deceased. If the deceased has a position in government or a known personality, their funerals are often anticipated to see the people who had attended and what kind of honors did he or she receive. Funeral plans and the chance to pick what type of funeral can even be done in advance. While many argue that funerals are now becoming old-fashioned, many families still prepare and pay hefty amounts for funerals considering their religious importance and the fact preparing lavish or special funerals for love ones shows how much the person meant for the family or group.
Dying and death rituals can be considered older than the earliest civilizations recorded in history as archeological findings have located evidences of burial rituals dating back to the Neanderthal era. Archeologists found decorated shells, flower fragments, and primitive tools for preparing the death were located near graves of Neanderthals, showcasing that there are burial rituals held before laying the deceased to their graves. Experts then emphasize that there is already an early perception on how to send-off the dead properly, enabling them to pass into the next life or to their respective journeys. If the funeral rite is not done correctly, it may cause the spirit to return into the living realm and cause chaos through violence and death for the living (Dennis). Funeral traditions had varied throughout the early civilizations, each respecting the nature of death and the afterlife in the process. In the Greek civilization, funerals are depicted on vase-paintings and in literature. In Homer, for example, he illustrated as to how a hero’s funeral is done with mourning of men, sacrificing both animals and humans, and cremation through a massive pyre completes the process. Athens and the other Greek territories had tried to scale down the funeral rituals due to the disruption they could cause to the polis, therefore editing the procedure slightly. The body of the deceased was prepared and cleaned before being placed on the prosthesis. Mourners would surround the prosthesis and the females would mostly show their emotions as compared to the men. The mourning brings appeasement to the soul and ensure that it is well-respected by the people he or she left behind. The funeral procession also happens before sunrise under the policies placed by Solon in 594 BC with musical accompaniment to its final destination. While there were instances wherein the funeral would also include cremation, many preferred inhumation. The remains would then be placed in a tomb filled with grave-goods or items honoring the dead. The relatives would then take part in a feast after the funeral while the recently deceased acts as a symbol that brings them together. Meals are placed into the grave on the third and ninth day since the burial and after the thirteenth day, it marks the end of the mourning process. In the case of Roman funerals, little detail is known regarding its funeral rituals. However, the funeral rites are not that different with the Greek funerals. Historians note that only elite families and adult members of the community get to have large-scale funerals. Romans preferred cremation wherein the body would be placed on top of a pyre while the family of the deceased can watch the creation until the end. After 8 hours of the cremation, the pyre is cleansed with wine and the remains are then buried in their respective...
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