Tag Archives: Death Ritual

Book Review: “From Here To Eternity: Traveling The World In Search Of The Good Death,” by Caitlin Doughty

Author Caitlin Doughty traveled the world to see how other cultures care for their loved ones who have died

“From Here To Eternity” by Caitlin Doughty is a fascinating look at funerary practices from around the world. Doughty, herself a funeral home owner, was inspired to witness how death is dealt with in other cultures. She wanted to show … Continue reading

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Performance Artist Uses Power of Ritual to Move Collective Grief

Rebecca Belmore's performance "Vigil" highlights authentic expression and the power of witnessing

We all have different ideas that spring to mind when we hear the word “ritual.” Some of us immediately see in the mind’s eye the titillating Hollywood version, with dim candle-lit rooms and voices rhythmically reciting words in a language … Continue reading

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Chanting Akal as a Soul Passage Rite

In the Sikh tradition, the mantra Akal is often chanted after death to help the soul achieve union with universal consciousness

In the Sikh tradition and in the larger global yogic community, the Gurbani mantra Akal is often chanted as someone’s body finishes the dying process, as well as for 17 days following physical death. Akal means “deathless” or “undying,” and … Continue reading

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Famadihana Death Ritual in Madagascar

Madagascar's Malagasy people connect and celebrate with their ancestors long after death.

The Malagasy people of Madagascar believe that the spirits of people who have died won’t join the world of their ancestors until after the body has completely decomposed. To assist the process, families perform a funerary tradition called Famadihana, “the … Continue reading

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