Tag Archives: Funeral Traditions

The Traditions and Customs of Catholic Funeral Mass

What to expect from a mass and which traditions you should follow

When I worked as a hospice social worker, the care team often attended the funerals of clients who had died. I saw many ceremonies that were beautiful and meaningful, but the one that touched me most was the Catholic funeral … Continue reading

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Telling the Bees: A Medieval Funeral Tradition

A funeral tradition that reflects the central importance of bees in daily life and worldview

Bees were highly prized in Medieval Europe for their honey and wax. The honey was used as a sweetener and medicine, as well as the key ingredient in mead — a mildly alcoholic drink that was consumed for its nutritive … Continue reading

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Belarusian Death Traditions: Funeral, Food & Family

Belarusian funeral traditions focus on two things: food and family

Belarus is a country whose history and culture remains a mystery to many westerners. As a place nestled between Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, Belarus also has a history as a divided country. Yet, it’s precisely this diversity … Continue reading

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Bark Cloth: The Oldest Mourning Garment?

Bark cloth has long been crafted in Borneo to create mourning garments after the death of a loved one

Reflecting on the material items various countries associate with death and dying can be telling on both a ritualistic and practical level (ex. “Western” culture’s penchant for wearing black to funerals; South Korea’s move towards “burial beads” in the wake … Continue reading

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The Shift From Burials To Cremation In Western Culture

How journalist Jessica Mitford helped spark a cultural shift in our end-of-life practices

A popular joke goes a little something like this: one fish swims up to another fish and asks, “How’s the water?” The other fish responds, “What the hell is water?” David Foster Wallace and Derek Sivers have used this joke … Continue reading

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How Can You Work with a Funeral Director to Plan a Personalized Funeral? An Interview with Amy Cunningham

Funeral Director Amy Cunningham gives us some ideas for planning a funeral that you can be proud of

New York funeral director Amy Cunningham founded the firm Fitting Tribute Funeral Services, and is the creator of The Inspired Funeral blog. A former magazine journalist and blogger for beliefnet.com, Amy has much experience with home vigils, alternative rituals, mixed faith … Continue reading

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