In addition to providing funerals, our funeral home offer preplanning services for those who wish to plan for their own funerals—this can include such things as Grave monuments obtaining permits from state or local authorities that allow people to have their cremated remains scattered into a river or other body of water when they die (this is legal in some countries, but not all).
Some funeral homes also operate their own cemeteries as part of their business.
In general, funeral services also involve burial (in the ground) or cremation (ashes placed either in an urn, buried, or scattered). Many cultures that observe both also have a ritualistic tradition such as “Taharah” (“Purification”) for body cleansing before final disposition; this may take place at home as part of the death rites carried out by family and friends.
Judaism and Islam
Some religions have specific requirements regarding funerals and mourning that can be very complex. In the case of Judaism, burial must take place quickly and strictly observe Jewish law on how the body is prepared, buried, mourned, and remembered.
Islam has similar requirements through burial practices may differ; like Judaism, many believe that bathing before interment is required, and women are generally excluded from certain areas while it takes place in preparation for burial (though this can be arranged for non-Muslim women by negotiation with local authorities such as a court).
Members of the clergy are often retained for rituals and to provide religious support, though, in some faiths such as Islam, where it is required that Muslims be buried facing Mecca (a city in Saudi Arabia), the funeral director may have little or no involvement.
Death as a cycle
In Islamic culture, death is viewed as part of the natural cycle of life. Funerals follow certain procedures that are generally not viewed as funeral customs but religious observances. Typically, two funerals will occur, one immediately after death at the deceased person’s home and then a larger one at an appointed time where community elders gather to honor the dead.
There can be no cremation; however, if someone dies outside his native land, he may be cremated provided that the remains are treated with proper respect.
Similarly, Hinduism has several kinds of funerals: “Antyesti” (“last rites”) and “Śrāddha” (ancestor veneration), which tend to be simple but solemn ceremonies involving cremation; these can either take place at home with family members or at a temple if the deceased was more spiritual or went there for important occasions.
Other arrangements include “RaktaLakshana (bloodstain),” wherein loved ones stay by the deceased’s bloodstained body before it is buried, and “Jalasandhi” (burial in water) when the bodies of unmarried girls are placed in a river or stream until they are considered to be cleansed of their ‘sins.’
In Jewish law, a body is considered ritually impure for a period of time after death: this necessitates special treatment and handling before burial. It also typically requires mourning to be conducted in private over many days following the funeral; during this period, it is disrespectful to laugh, sing or dance (though music can be played).
In addition, children born out of wedlock may not attend their mother’s funeral. Finally, families are generally discouraged from public displays of affection for members who have died; however, these customs vary among different communities.