Religious/Cultural Traditions

Vatican issues guidelines on cremation, says no to scattering ashes

According to new guidelines from the Vatican's doctrinal office, cremated remains should be kept in a "sacred place" such as a church cemetery ...

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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 ...

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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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Jehovah's Witness Funeral Traditions

Religious Background on Jehova's Witness

Jehovah’s Witness is a distinct denomination of Christianity. The origins of the religion can be traced back to Charles Russell’s Bible Student movement in America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jehovah’s Witness is characterized by a rigid set of beliefs that are ...

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World Funeral Customs: Islamic Funeral Traditions

Religious Background on Islam

Muslims, the worshippers of Islam, believe that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is God’s prophet. The Quran is the primary holy book of Islamic teachings. Most Muslims either belong to the Sunni denomination (~80%) or the Shia denomination (~15%). With about 1 ...

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World Funeral Customs: Mormon Funeral Traditions

A Religious Background

Mormons believe that the human body and spirit separate at death. Afterwards, the spirit is judged and is either sent to paradise or prison in the spirit world. Eventually, body and spirit are resurrected at the Final Judgment and – based on the goodness of the individual ...

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World Funeral Customs: Hindu Funeral Traditions

Background on Hinduism

Hinduism is the dominant religion of the Indian sub-continent and the third largest religion in the world, with around a billion followers. It is also widely held as the oldest organized religion in the world. Hinduism is considered to be a fusion of ancient cultural traditions from ...

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World Funeral Customs: Quaker Funeral Traditions

About The Quaker Religion

Although Quakerism has evolved greatly since the outset, its founding principle still prevails throughout the religion. This primary belief is that the ‘inner light’ of Christ (and by extension, God) lives inside the soul of every human. And, thus, this ‘light’ should be cultivated individually without ...

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World Funeral Customs: Eastern Europe

Eastern Orthodox Influence

Funeral traditions in Eastern Europe are guided heavily by the Christian beliefs of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church officially separated from the Roman Catholic Church in the year 1054. This historical event is known as the Great Schism. Today, the Eastern Orthodox Church is the ...

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World Funeral Customs: Eastern Asia

This section provides an overview of funeral rituals and customs in East Asia. Click on one of the following countries to skip to that section and learn about the specific and unique funeral practices of ChinaSouth KoreaVietnam and Philippines.

Basic Spiritual Beliefs

A common belief in ...

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