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Funeral Customs

sampleTraditionally funeral customs vary by religion.

Buddhism

death is prepared for through meditation, and death itself is viewed as a rebirth. Once dead, the body is washed, rituals are performed over it, a wake is held, and then it is typically cremated.

Catholics

in the Roman Catholic Church, the body is prepared for burial, usually by embalming. This is followed by a requiem Mass and burial. Additional Masses may be conducted periodically over the next year. Protestant churches usually hold one ceremony, followed by either burial (the usual form) or cremation.

Christian

custom changed from an earlier period where a funeral was treated as a joyous occasion to one where it is a time for mourning.

Hindu

ceremonies are closely tied to a belief in reincarnation. Thus an elaborate set of rituals is conducted, mostly by relatives, to ensure a proper rebirth.

Islamic

ceremonies include washing and preparing the body, prayers, reading from the Qur'an, and placing the body on the right side facing Mecca for burial (cremation is not practiced).

Judaism

perhaps the simplest of all ceremonies, included a prayer service, washing the body and wrapping it in linen, followed by a funeral banquet.