Funerals are ceremony or procession commonly held for deceased persons. The ceremony may be in the forms of a simple memorial service attended by family and friends while it can also be grand State burial usually for soldiers who died in the battlefield. A funeral consists of an assortment of customs which might be different for people of different religions and culture.
Depending on the wishes of the deceased persons, their religions and the customs of their families, the deceased may be buried or cremated. Burials are a common practice since the pre-historic times, where the body of the deceased is buried into the grave, which has been dug into the ground.
In the modern world, there are no more solitary graves, instead there are cemeteries where many graves share a common ground or area. Cremations are preferred among some culture. Dead body is put into a special furnace called crematory and it will be reduced to ashes, which is collected and handed over to family members for safekeeping. It is also not uncommon in the world for some deceased to be placed in a tomb above ground or be left in the open for the force of nature to disintegrate their bodies.
Most funeral rituals consist of three parts in the following order: visitation, funeral and burial. Before the visitation ceremony begins, the body of the deceased is first embalmed. Embalming involves removal of the dead body's blood and replacing it with a preservative liquid, usually a mixture of a variety of chemicals and formaldehyde.
Then during visitation, the embalmed body is placed in a coffin for family and friends to view the body. Visitation usually precedes the actual funeral by one or two evenings, attendees are invited to sign a book kept by the deceased's survivors for memorial. In recent years, it is also not uncommon for the family to display photographs and videos of the deceased during its lifetime at the visitation.
After the visitation ceremony, it is followed by a funeral or memorial service which takes place at church or a funeral home. The funeral service is officiated by a clergyman who will lead the prayers, singing of hymns and words of comfort by the clergy. Some close relatives, friends and spouses will offer to give eulogy regarding the achievements and happy memories of the deceased.
After the attendees view the deceased's body for the final time, the coffin is closed and the coffin might immediately be brought to the tomb, grave or crematorium for the burial service. Sometimes, a small gathering or meal may be called after the burial service at the deceased's church, banquet halls or private places.
This is especially evident if the deceased died of old age, family members and close friends gather together for "the celebration of life", instead of mourning the deceased, they celebrate the life it lived, cherish the memories together with the dead and provide support for each other to get on with their lifes.
A funeral of the loved ones is often one of the most trying time in a person's life. Young persons who have not experienced death relatives before would have difficulty understanding and accepting the passing away of the loved ones.
Besides, there are many tasks and arrangements which need to be settled following a death. Therefore, it is vital for family members and close friends of the deceased to provide support for each other and help out in whatever way they could before and even after a funeral has ended.
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