Mourning rituals or customs in your religion

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Cino, Aug 2, 2022.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    A relative of mine died a few weeks ago, not close family, but close enough that I was made aware of it. This got me wondering, how is grief and mourning addressed in your religion or world view?
     
  2. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    There is not much ritual involved on the first day. A few drops of Ganges water are poured in the person's mouth. The body is washed and kept on the floor in a rectangle marked by soil and turmeric. When all the relatives have arrived, it is put on a bamboo ladder and tied with strings. Relatives put flowers, garlands and shawls on the body. If it is an old person with great grand children, the family may send off the body with a band in attendance. There is a short ritual at the cremation ground. The funeral pyre generally requires 3 quintals of fire-wood. Usually the eldest son lights the pyre. In case the person has no son or the son is not present, the a nephew or the daughters son will light the pyre. The Ashes are collected on the third day and immersed in Ganges or some water body as per the family's tradition soon or at a convenient time.

    Back at home, the first meal is brought by the daughter-in-law's family or any such relative and it is essential to take a bite from that.

    After that the rituals depend on the tradition of the family. In some communities a mourning meet is arranged on the fourth day (Chautha) and a person from the family is designated as the care-taker of the family. In other communities, rituals are held on the banks of a river on the 10th and 11th day.
    In villages, a feast to the community may be essential.

    This is followed by monthly rituals for one year. And after one year, the departed soul is remembered during a particular fortnight (Shraaddha Paksha). A fast is kept on that day and charity is given in the name of that person.

    Hindu funerals and rituals may not cost much, unless the family wants to spend money on it.
     
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  3. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    My wife's Hindu tradition is similar to what, Aupmanyav describes above, but when my mother-in-law passed last year, a new tradition got added to the mix. You see, do to covid restrictions in Fiji, gatherings were limited, which put a huge damper on traditional funeral proceedings. So, nearly overnight companies sprang up offering to live cast funerals on Facebook! Now, even though most all restrictions have been lifted in Fiji, live casting has become part of the funeral ritual. This is a real blessing for families like my wife's, who are scattered about the globe and being able to virtually participate, gave the wife and I a real sense of closure after her mother's passing.
     
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  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I wish we were allowed personal funeral.pyres in the states...I may become mushrooms or fertilizer for a tree both those are cropping up. But my current legal route is cremation then ashes placed in small containers gifted to friends with seedlings to fertilize trees wherever they choose to plant them.
     
  5. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    The wife and I attended a memorial service today for a former coworker of hers who passed unexpectedly last week. It was a nice little Christian service with eulogies given by family and friends, followed by their family pastor reading from the old and new testament.

    Pretty standard stuff, but there was one interesting twist. The family is from Jamaica, so Bob Marley was played in the background the entire time. Apparently he was a favorite of the deceased. So there's the good pastor, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want...." while Marley sings in the background, "We're Jammin, I hope ya like Jammin too..." :cool:
     
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  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Yeah that was a tough time. No more than 20 people were allowed to attend a funeral whereas the normal numbers are more than 100. Then in the worst phase, there was a waiting period, because so many people were to be cremated.
    However, I do not like the idea of live telecast or taking photos of the dead body and the rituals. Every one knows what happens. For me, the best disposal will be that my body is given to a medical college to be dissected, so that students learn. I have told my family about that but do not know if they will fulfill my wish. I do not want any funeral or rituals. I do not believe in existence of soul or God.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  7. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    I tell you, having experienced it, unless you are born to such culture, the site of a loved one set ablaze can be quite disturbing. Especially as in my wife's tradition, where the eldest son is charged with lighting it. Then there's the next day ritual when they gather again to clean the area and dispose of the bits that did not burn completely. I got to actively participate in that when my father in law passed. :eek:
    Aussie's family tradition is to till the ashes into the main barley field on their farm. Now, most of their harvest goes into beer and wine production, so Aussie use to say, "Think about that the next time you hoist a pint, mate!" ;)
    In the memorial service the wife and I just attended, I noticed several folks whip out their phones to snap photos of the deceased lying in repose. No doubt some were Facebook bound. A few years ago, I would have found that quite morbid. Different times we live in though, spawning new traditions.

    Incidentally, when the wife and I returned home yesterday, her Hindu tradition kicked in and she insisted we sprinkle each other with water before entering the house, a symbolic cleansing of sorts. :)

    Burials are insanely expensive here and I don't find the idea of my carcass ending up in a lab all that appealing , so I'd just as soon go with cremation. I'll leave that up to the wife though, what to do with my earthly remains. Quite sure I'll have no further use for them. ;)
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Yes I have met a dude who worked in a crematorium...raking remains to facilitate a full burn repeatedly was the worst part of his job.
     
  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Yeah, we do it, water from River Ganges. But I am an atheist. I prefer to have a cup of tea while people are preparing for the cremation.
    For me, it would be a final catharsis, that the body was Brahman before death, it is Brahman even in death - the stuff that constitutes all things in the universe. No privileges.
     
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