A funeral is more than the mark of someone's passing. It's a way to honor the deceased and provide the family a way to mourn, and memorialize the loved one who has passed. Over the years, funeral traditions have changed significantly. However, sometimes looking to the past is the best way to bring a unique and meaningful touch to a funeral service or viewing. Here are four time-honored funeral elements to consider incorporating into your services.
During the Victorian era, viewings were generally held in the family's home. Curtains were closed, and clocks throughout the home would be stopped at the time that the loved one passed. This is a meaningful tradition to bring into a modern funeral service or viewing. The family could provide several clocks--perhaps from their loved one's home or bedroom--and you could display them throughout the viewing area, set to the time of passing.
Also popular during the Victorian era, funeral biscuits were small cakes that were wrapped in white paper and given to guests as favors after the viewing. With all of the stress on the family and guests, meals sometimes get skipped and delayed on the day of a funeral or viewing. So, this could be a nice tradition to bring into the modern era. As they leave the funeral home, you could give the guests a simple snack, such as a packet of crackers or some cookies, wrapped up nicely and tied with a bow.
Toll of the Bell
Years ago, when someone in the community passed on, the family would notify the local church, and a bell would be rung in honor of the deceased. Often, the bell would be rung one time for each year that the deceased lived. This tradition can easily be carried out today as a part of the funeral service. Guests can observe a moment of silence as a bell is rung in memorial and honor.
In years past when funerals were held in homes, mirrors were often covered in sheets throughout the event. This tradition can be carried on today as a way to remind attendees that the focus of the day should be on the deceased and their family--not on outward looks.
Incorporating one or more of these time-honored funeral elements is a good way to give your funeral services and viewings a unique and thoughtful character.