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Funeral History #2

Unit 2

Hebrew Burial Customs Eyes and mouth were closed. Body was washed & anointed w/sweet spices. Dressed in best attire. Uncoffined burial. Took place in evening on day of death, because warm climate, putrefaction happened quickly.
Hebrew Mourning Customs Mourners removed clothing down to loincloth, went barefoot and kept their heads covered. Cut off some hair and shaved their beards. Fasted for the day of death. Hired paid mourners for procession to cemetary.
Hebrew Place of Burial Burials should be on family land or near family dwelling. Family should be buried together.
Christian Death Beliefs We all have to give an account of our life on earth and will either be punished or rewarded in the afterlife.
Resurrection A Christian belief, that on judgement day, we will rise up to be with God. Bodies need to be buried intact in order to rise.
Temple of the Holy Spirit This title was given to the human body, as it housed the soul. The body should be respected and never burned.
Burial Customs of Early Christians Burial was simple. The body should be laid out decently with lights beside it. It should be blessed with holy water and incense. A cross should be placed upon the breast, with hands folded. Burial in consecrated grounds.
Burial Customs of Early Christians (1) Everyone is entitled to a decent burial. Burial is a corporal work of mercy. The dead were buried without paid pallbearers or other paid assistants.
Typical Christian Funeral Family member closed eyes & mouth. Body was washed, wrapped in linen with myrrh & aloes. Laid upon a couch. Body was wrapped & face was viewed. 8+ hrs between death & burial. Patterened after Christ, who was only washed & wrapped, not cremated.
Wake Word means 'to keep watch.' Prevented premature burial. People prayed during this time for the deceased. Served as time of comfort for family.
Christian Funeral Procession Body prep and wake were at the family home. Procession was from home to burial place. No noisy exhibition of grief. Consisted of body, bearers and the family.
Time of Christian Funeral Procession Took place during the day to symbolize that the dead were entering into eternal light. Torches were still used to symbolize glory of new life.
Early Christian Cemetaries Consecrated grounds. Extramural land, tombs lined the roads. Also contained catacombs.
Catacombs Underground places of burial, containing rooms for tombs.
Christian Funeral Functionaries Most funeral functions were taken care of by family, under direction of the clergy. Eventually outside people were hired to dig graves, carry the body, and wash or prepare the body.
Scandinavian Cremation Prior to Christianity, people believe burning the body would free the spirit of the dead, and keep the spirit of the dead from harming the living. Cremation was a clean form of disposition.
Ship Burial Scandinavian burial for the elite. The dead was placed on a bed within a ship, with many possessions and sacrificial animals. Set out to sea and set on fire.
Burial Clothing Kings or royalty - buried in royal robes Knights buried in military garments Priests buried in their vestments
Christian Burial Places Preferred to be buried around/near their churches.
God's Acre Consecrated ground.
Suicide in the Middle Ages Considered a sin by the church. Not allowed burial in consecrated grounds. Anybody who committed this sin was to have an extramural burial.
Purgatorial Doctrine When a person dies, their soul is not entirely cleansed. Souls are sent to Purgatory to undergo the cleansing process before accepted into heaven.
Purgatory Guilds Also called Leagues of Prayer. Groups formed to pray for the safe rest (repose) of the soul.
Steward of the Guild A member of the Purgatory Guild who made necessary arrangements for the funeral, such as burial and Requiem Mass.
Soul Shot Also called Mortuary Fee. Each member of the Guild paid a penny to ensure a soul would be able to enter heaven.
Death Crier An individual who walked around town announcing deaths. He wore a robe with symbols of death, such as skulls and crossbones.
Weepers Men in mourning wore these armbands, white to mourn women or children, and black to mourn men.
Wakes (Middle Ages) Also known as "Vigil for the Dead"
Funeral Feast A meal served by the mourning family, as a welcoming to the new heirs of the estate.
Effigy An image or representation of a person. Especially in hot weather, a mask of the dead would be made, the body would be buried and people could continue to pay respect to the representation.
Plagues Great illnesses which spread across Europe, wiping out thousands of people in a short amount of time. Caused overcrowding in cemeteries. These situations led to legislation in funeral services (how to bury, how deep to bury, who should bury the dead...)
the Black Death Also known as the Bubonic Plague. Caused lesions to appear on the bodies of the afflicted.
Trench Graves A result of plagues, and overcrowding in cemeteries. No time to dig individual graves, large plots were dug and bodies were laid layer upon layer.
Uncoffined Burials In the Middle Ages, bodies were wrapped in shrouds, most burials were not coffined, nor were the feet or hands of the dead bound. This left the body free to rise and be with God. Coffined burials were reserved for nobility.
The term "Coffin" Derived from the Greek word "Kofinos," meaning basket, chest, or coffer.
Burial Clubs As funerals grew more involved (and costly), these groups began in the 1800s and served to help the middle class pay expenses. Provided prayers, masses, anniversary reminders of deaths, palls (the cloth which covered the casket).
Burial in Woolen Act of 1666 Woolen fabric was now to be used to make shrouds (rather than linen) and for coffin liners.
Mourning Symbols Weed, Widow's Weed, Doole: long black cloak worn by mourners.
Mourning Colors Egyptians: yellow Persians: brown Chinese: white
Widow's Bonnet Derived from a nun's habit. Had a veil and covered the woman's face. Worn by a widow.
White Cuffs The widow's clothing had white cuffs, signifying her status as a widow.
Protestant Local Customs Stemming from the Roman tradition of covering the body with at least 3 handfuls of earth while reciting a ceremonial farewell, at the grave, mourners sprinkled a handful of earth upon the corpse.
Jewish Local Customs A bag of earth was placed at the grave and each mourner helped to fill in the grave. Still today, each mourner puts a shoveful of dirt into the grave.
Irish Local Customs The priest would bless and sprinkle a handful of holy water and earth upon the corpse at the grave.
English Local Customs Sprigs of Rosemary were given to mourners at the funeral. The sprigs were thrown into the grave, possibly to disinfect against the plague.
Clergy Local Customs Believing that Christ would summon the world to judgement, they were buried with feet toward the east. They would be the first to rise and lead people to Christ.
Sin-Eater Local Customs This was a male scapegoat. His duties were to eat a loaf of bread and drink a bowl of beer over the deceased to assume the sins, thus cleansing the soul of the dead.
Sextons During the Middle Ages, this was the caretaker of the churt and graveyard. One job included ringing the bells for funerals and grave diggings.
Independent Heart Burial The heart of martyrs (sometimes other body parts) were preserved as Holy Relics. The heart was buried under the alter of a church and the church was named after the martyr.
Independent Bone Burial Burial in native land was important. Poor and common people were buried where they died (even if in foreign lands). The rich and noble were dismembered, boiled, and their bones were sent home for burial. Soft tissue was buried at place of death.
Created by: kellyrb
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