Honoring the Dead

Each religion has its own particular rituals for honoring the dead, and they do give some comfort to those who have been left behind. In the Christian faith, there is often a day when those who knew the person are allowed a viewing. This ritual is designed to help them see the person one last time, but it is not always possible for them to be viewed due to the manner of their passing. If the family prefers not to let their loved one be seen, they can post a photograph of their loved one on a closed casket during viewing hours.

When death is near, a priest or pastor is often called in to give the person their Last Rites. This ritual is designed to help the person with their last confession if possible, and it also blesses their soul to help them progress from their earthly existence into the next life. It is a personal ceremony performed between the soon-to-be-deceased person and their local church official. It is not always possible, but it is done for those with terminal illnesses or anyone obviously near death.

The religious ceremony for the deceased is done in two parts in this religion, and they take place at the local church and the cemetery where the person will be buried. There is a mass said for the recently departed, and the family may choose between many options. One or more close family members or friends might say a eulogy to remind people of the life the person lived. Music choices are often left up to the loved ones, but the local church official can offer them a selection of traditional music for the ceremony.

Once the church ceremony is over, the graveside burial prayers are next. The chosen church official will stand at the head of the coffin, recite prayers commending the person to the afterlife, and the coffin will be lowered into the ground. This is often the most difficult part for the family and friends to endure, but it is performed to give them a sense of closure.