Funeral rites of the peoples of the world

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Funeral rites of the peoples of the world
Funeral rites of the peoples of the world

Japanese, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish funerals - what they are.

Funeral rites

Orthodox funeral

In Orthodoxy, from time immemorial, the dead were necessarily washed, then dressed in clean, unattended white clothes (this color symbolizes spiritual purity). Clothes should be right on time - not small and not large. Sometimes this is a very expensive decoration. The deceased was laid on a bench - with his head to the red corner (there were icons), that is, to the east, covered with a white shroud (canvas). The hands of the dead were folded on the chest, a crucifix was put in the left one, and an icon was placed on the chest (for men - the image of the Savior, for women - the Mother of God).

After death, the Psalter and special prayers for peace were continuously read over the deceased every night. Local old men and women who were awake were constantly on duty near the coffin. The funeral itself took place on the third day. Especially revered dead were carried to the cemetery in their arms.

Interestingly, in any Christian burial, according to tradition, music is completely inappropriate. Probably, they began to bury with an orchestra already under Soviet rule. It is not accepted in Orthodoxy and it is a Catholic custom to erect a monument on the grave. However, if an Orthodox cross is depicted on it, the installation of a tombstone is not prohibited.

Burial in Islam


As the Qur'an says, “We did not give eternal life to any person” (al-Anbiya, 34), “Every soul will taste death” (al-Anbiya, 35), “But Allah will not delay any soul, as soon as a certain for her (soul) term. Allah knows about your deeds and will reward you for them”(al-Munafikun, 11).

Special rituals are already being performed over a living Muslim who is about to leave for another world. Burial rites in Islam are complex, therefore they are performed in the presence of clergy. Despite the complexity, all ritual actions must be strictly observed - this is the duty of every Muslim.

After a person has died, he is washed according to various rituals. Sharia prohibits burying a person in clothes, and therefore they wrap him up in a white kafan (shroud), tie his chin, straighten his arms. The deceased is placed on his back, his legs should be turned towards Mecca.

Muslims never bury their dead in coffins. Instead, to carry the dead, they use special stretchers - tobut, which are usually always found at mosques or in cemeteries.

During the burial, special prayers are read. Sharia does not prohibit mourning the deceased, but strictly forbids doing it loudly: Muslims believe that the deceased suffers when loved ones mourn him.

Jewish funeral


In Judaism, human life is especially valued, which is considered sacred; therefore, euthanasia and any help that would help a person move away to another world are prohibited. A dying person should never be left alone, one of the Jewish commandments says: "Stay at the bedside of a dying person." If a person is still able to speak before death, he needs to make a special dying confession - viduy. Every Jew is obliged to know the words of this confession by heart, because no one ever knows when he will die.

Just like in Orthodoxy and Islam, it is customary to wash the dead and then dress them in a white shroud, sewn by hand.

The Jews are not forbidden to bury their dead in coffins, and in simple ones - wooden, devoid, like a shroud, of any decorations. This applies to everyone - even those who, during their lifetime, stood quite high on the social ladder. All this symbolizes the fact that absolutely everyone is equal before death. At the same time, one of the boards is removed at the bottom of the coffin so that the body of the deceased touches the ground, since a person, created from dust, must again become dust.And in some areas (for example, in Israel) it is more common to bury the dead without a coffin.

It is not customary for the Jews to look at the deceased: they believe that man was created in the image of God, but in a dead body this likeness is violated. In addition, relatives should remember the deceased not as he became after death, but as he was during life.

After the body of the deceased is no longer visible underground, relatives of the deceased must perform a ritual of tearing clothes. Men tear their clothes so as to expose their hearts, while women either do not do this at all, or only tear their clothes a little. It is believed that this custom allows you to give vent to emotions - in this way the loved ones of the deceased should recover faster from the loss.

After the burial, all those present at it wash their hands - this is a symbol of purification.

Japanese funeral rite


Japanese funerals are held in accordance with Buddhist rites. According to the ancient custom, the eldest son is appointed responsible for organizing the funeral.

The lips of the deceased are moistened with water. The family tomb (in Japan, the so-called family graves are common: members of one family are buried in one grave, with new dead people being buried to them) is covered with white paper - this is done in order to protect the deceased from unclean spirits. For the same purpose, a knife is sometimes placed on the chest of a dead man. A small table is placed near the bed of the deceased, decorated with flowers, incense and candles.

The body is washed, all natural holes are plugged with cotton or gauze.

Men are buried in a suit, and women in a kimono (sometimes kimonos are also used for men). Make-up is applied to the face of the deceased to make it look more attractive. The body itself is placed on dry ice in a coffin, where a white kimono, sandals and six coins are also placed so that the deceased can cross the Sanzu River. In addition, things that the deceased loved when he was alive (cigarettes, sweets, etc.) are put in the coffin. The coffin is installed on the altar, while the head of the deceased should look to the north or west (this is how Buddhists prepare the soul for a trip to Western Paradise).

Once in the land of the Rising Sun it was customary to wear white clothes for funerals, today loved ones are present at burial mostly in black. Everyone who attended the funeral can bring money with them as a sign of condolences. Moreover, each guest is obliged to give the deceased a gift, the value of which is half or a quarter of the money he brought.


During the funeral, the deceased is given a new name - kaimyo. This is done so that the soul of the deceased does not worry when loved ones mention his name in the future. It is customary for the Japanese to burn the dead. Cremation lasts about two hours, and relatives usually return to the crematorium at the end.

After that, two of the family members of the deceased move the bones of the deceased from the ashes to the urn by transferring them from sticks to sticks. A funeral is the only case when it is allowed to transfer the same object from one stick to another - in all other cases, such behavior will be associated with the funeral by others and will be perceived as gross tactlessness.

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