Rituals of Death

Topics: Suffering, Death, Cremation Pages: 2 (747 words) Published: March 2, 2013
Rituals of Death

According to the dictionary a ritual is a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order; the prescribed order of performing a ceremony, especially one characteristic of a particular religion or church (Oxford Dictionaries, 2012). Rituals will vary amongst cultures but the purpose of a ritual is similar in its meaning. They are done to make feeling and faith perceptible. The rituals performed around death is done to provide comfort; a link to the dead by doing something dependable which will provide a sense of security. It is done to show honor to the dead. Every society will perform a ritual before disposing of a dead body. Many cultures will cover the dead persons face and close their eyes. Now that I think of it, even in movies, when a person dies someone will close their eyes. It is most commonly done in hospitals. This act is a way of displaying respect to the dead. The ritual that I am accustomed to surrounding death consists of many things. The first thing that will happen is the notification of the family and friends of the deceased. Then there will be the preparation of the funeral arrangements. Some people may decide to do this in reverse in order to provide information to the people being notified. It is normal for my culture to have what is called “the wake”; this is where everyone has the chance to view the body. The viewing also provides for an opportunity for people to say their goodbyes. Immediately following will be the funeral, however sometime the wake will be the day before the funeral. The funeral will consist of a song, a prayer, the reading of a scripture, the acknowledgements and condolences, the reading of the obituary, another song, the eulogy followed by the benediction. The funeral will last between 45mins to 1hr. The next process in the ritual is the burial (if the deceased was not cremated). During the burial there will be the blessing of the burial site is...
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