Religious/Cultural Traditions

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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World Funeral Customs: Southeast Asia

World Funeral Customs: Southeast Asia

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 ...

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Vatican issues guidelines on cremation, says no to scattering ashes

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

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 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

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

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

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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