Religious/Cultural Traditions

Judaism and Cremation

Judaism and Cremation
Though there are no official statistics, funeral directors in big cities suggest that the cremation rate has increased over the years, in some Jewish communities nearing 10% to 15%.1 What is the cause of this drastic change, and how are the various denominations of Judaism adapting to it? Jewish Laws ...
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What You Need to Know About the Chevra Kadisha

What You Need to Know About the Chevra Kadisha
Who are the Chevra Kadisha? The Chevra Kadisha translated from Aramaic is “Holy Society,” but they are often referred to as the Jewish Burial Society. The Chevra Kadisha’s role is to prepare Jewish bodies for burial, and it is a great honor and rarity to become a member. Though few ...
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Jewish Funeral Traditions

Jewish Funeral Traditions
Religious Background According to Jewish faith, humans are created in the image of God. This understanding is the basis for all Jewish funeral traditions, though significant differences exist between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jews, as well as between communities and families. It is important to know that in Judaism, death ...
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Clergy, Celebrants, Family - Choosing a Funeral Officiant

Clergy, Celebrants, Family - Choosing a Funeral Officiant
One of the most important--and unavoidable--determinations for any funeral is deciding who will officiate the actual funeral or memorial service. The decision can be a difficult one if the deceased did not specify any final wishes. Will it be a clergy member, a trusted family member, or a certified celebrant? ...
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Southeast Asia Funeral Customs

Southeast Asia Funeral Customs
Being an incredibly diverse region, Southeast Asia does not have a prevailing religion or ethnicity. Funeral customs therefore differ significantly even within countries, though most people follow Buddhist, Muslim, or Chinese tradition. Each Southeast Asian country has its own spin on these traditions, and they vary from country to country ...
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Chicago Archdiocese opens first cremation garden in a cemetery

Chicago Archdiocese opens first cremation garden in a cemetery
By Maya Brachear Pashman for the Chicago Tribune  Amid the sound of cascading water, Claire Thom and her sister Lori Van Buren ambled through a maze of orange day lilies, bronze markers, maple trees and granite benches Monday in search of their parents' final resting place. Their father, Edmund Sylwestrak, ...
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Illinois Catholic Bishop decrees no Holy Communion, funerals for same-sex couples

Illinois Catholic Bishop decrees no Holy Communion, funerals for same-sex couples
By Susan Hogan for The Washington Post The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Ill., is calling on priests there to deny Holy Communion and even funeral rites to people in same-sex unions unless they show “some signs of repentance” for their relationships before death. The decree by Bishop Thomas Paprocki also ...
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Vatican issues guidelines on cremation, says no to scattering ashes

Vatican issues guidelines on cremation, says no to scattering ashes
Rome (CNN) The Vatican announced Tuesday that Catholics may be cremated but should not have their ashes scattered at sea or kept in urns at home. According to new guidelines from the Vatican's doctrinal office, cremated remains should be kept in a "sacred place" such as a church cemetery. Ashes should ...
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Funeral Customs & Traditions: The Surprising History Behind Gravestones

Funeral Customs & Traditions: The Surprising History Behind Gravestones
"Shhh," I'd whisper to my little brother, index finger pressed tightly to my lips, "Don't make any noise or you'll wake the dead." We'd stare out the window, holding our breath, as our car passed yet another cemetery. Watching in anticipation as the granite gravestones rushed past in a grey ...
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Buddhist Funeral Traditions

Buddhist Funeral Traditions
Buddhist Funerals & Reincarnation There are no specific rituals or rites common to all Buddhists. Funeral traditions vary greatly between the different types (sects) and countries where the funeral takes place due to different teachings and beliefs of the religion. However, central to all Buddhism, is the belief in reincarnation ...
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