Immediate Burial

Some religions require the dead to be buried immediately, and the religious traditions are performed after they are gone. The traditions of the Jewish people are performed in this manner, and it is possibly due to the fact they originated in an area of the world where the heat was intense. It was important to perform the burial as soon as possible to avoid the issues that can crop up from not interring the dead, but that does not mean they ignore their rituals. They simply reverse them to ensure those who remain behind will be able to honor the deceased.

While the physical body must be interred immediately, that does not mean there is no ceremony beforehand. There can be a service at the Temple for those gathered, and it consists of prayers, music and eulogies. Each person’s funeral will be tailored to the family’s needs, and the rabbi will help them through the process.

There is a graveside ceremony to commend the deceased to the earth, and prayers are said to commend their body back to the land from which it came. After the coffin is lowered into the ground, the immediate family and close friends are offered a shovel to begin the process of covering the coffin. This is meant to give them a sense of closure, but not everyone needs to participate. Some people find their grief is too deep to be able to perform this part of the ceremony, and they can forego it if needed.

Sitting Shiva is how people of the Jewish faith honor their dead after burial. While some of the more modern people might have viewings and the Temple and graveside burials, sitting Shiva is considered the most important part. For seven nights in a row, people gather in the home of the deceased to say prayers. One room is chosen for the prayers, but the house is often filled with loved ones who will comfort each other during this trying time.