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Comparing Funerals

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Comparing Funerals And The Way In Which Three Different Religions Mark This Rite Of Passage Death is when only the corporal matter of a life remains. When all vital functions and processes in a living organism cease: the heart stops beating. The brain stops thinking. There are many questions and answers considered as to what happens to us after death. Where do we go? Is there a judging superior being or existence? Do we even have a soul? Some religions preach that a person's soul or spirit leaves their body when they die, and passes into higher realm of existence. Others believe that a soul is reincarnated into another body, or living form to fulfil a certain task. And some believe that there is nothing post-death. The death of a human being is considered a sad moment, and a time for mourning and grieving. Although it is part of the life cycle and is something that must be accepted, the death of a person is regarded as a great loss. However it can also be seen as a new start, and the funeral being the celebration of their life. ...read more.


The funeral is held about a week after death and it can either take place in a church or at a crematorium. The burial is very important as Jesus rose from the dead, and Jesus' death and resurrection are seen as a victory over death and sin. The two types of funerals in the Christian faith are burials and cremations. The body is place in a chosen coffin and is disposed of with the chosen service. If cremated the ashes are put into an urn and given to the family, who may choose to keep them or scatter them in a place that was meaningful to the deceased. Or if buried the location of the grave is usually marked by a chosen engraved head stone. When a Jew dies, they shouldn't be alone. If possible their last moments should be spent confessing or reciting the Shema. Upon the death of a Jew, the eyes are closed, the body is covered and laid on the floor, and candles are lit next to it. The body is never left alone as a sign of respect. ...read more.


Death is a sad occasion, but Hindu priests emphasise the route ahead for the departed soul and a funeral is a celebration and remembrance service. After a person dies, the funeral is held within hours. Hindus cremate their dead, believing that the burning of a dead body signifies the release of the spirit, and that the flames represent Brahma, The Creator. The burning represents purification of their soul, the Atman. The body is prepared by the chief mourner: the deceased's eldest son. It is washed, clothed wearing a few flowers and garlands and sandal wood oil is rubbed onto the corpse to make it fragrant, and easy to burn. It is placed upon a Pyre where the eldest son will light some kindling and circle the burning body reading Scriptures from the Vedas or Bhagavad Gita, and praying for the wellbeing of the departing soul. To make sure the soul has fully left its physical form the son will crack it using a hammer, this makes sure there if no where for the spirit to get stuck. Afterwards the cremated ashes are sprinkled on water. Many people take the ashes to India to put on the waters of the Ganges, others may take them to the sea near to where they live. ...read more.

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