Death Rituals

In: Historical Events

Submitted By cowboys8829
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Christian Death Rituals Modern Christian death rituals have changed over time. Previous customs are being abandoned for today’s vision of praising the deceased. It can be stated that Christians are some-what celebrating the death of a loved one. A new pattern has developed drifting away from burial, moving towards cremation. Technically there is no set routine for a death, due to the fact that personal modifications and customs can change an arrangement. This new pattern is not firmly fixed (indeed, variations, improvisations and personal customizations are marks of the new rituals) but it generally includes the following characteristics:
• a memorial service instead of a funeral (i.e., a service focused on remembering the deceased, often held many days after the death, with the body or the cremated remains of the deceased not present) (Thomas)
• a brief, simple, highly personalized and customized service, often involving several speakers. (as opposed to the standard church funeral liturgies presided over primarily by clergy) (Thomas)
• a focus on the life of the deceased (often aided by a physical display of photos and other mementos) (Thomas)
• an emphasis on joy rather than sadness, a celebration of life rather than an observance of the somber reality of death. (Thomas)
• a private disposition of the body, often done before the memorial service, with an increasing preference for cremation. (Thomas) Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy because Christians care for the bodies of humans even though they are deceased. "The dead deserve as respectful a burial as can be provided, this is a minimum," says Father Richard Rutherford of the University of Portland. Although cremation is allowed by the church, the bishops stressed that burial or entombment of the body is still preferred. In cases where families choose cremation, the bishops want the body…...

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