Tag Archives: Vigil

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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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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Traditional Burial Rites for the Maori

New Zealand’s indigenous people ensure that no one is alone during a burial

The Maori in New Zealand honor those who have died with a three-day burial rite, which is becoming less commonly practiced these days, called the Tangihanga or the Tangi. The process is held at a communal and sacred place known … Continue reading

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San Francisco’s Vigil for the Homeless Dead

The city honors the lives and deaths of an oft-overlooked population.

For over twenty years, a Vigil for the Homeless Dead has been organized each year during the holiday season across the street from San Francisco’s City Hall. This special celebration is a time for people to gather and honor those … Continue reading

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