Funerals have played an important role in cultures around the world for thousands of years. They’re a respectful and heartfelt custom to celebrate the life of a friend or loved one, and many modern traditions remain much the same as they were centuries ago. The staff at Shipman Funeral Home & Crematory in Wagoner and Muskogee, OK, want to share the intriguing origin and history of funerals. It’s important to understand when saying goodbye to a loved one and will further reinforce the deep meaning of the ceremony.
Ritualistic burials date back to 60,000 BC where Neanderthal gravesites demonstrated rites and customs for sending someone into the afterlife. Over the years, this practice became more intricate globally. The Egyptians are known for some of the earliest and most extravagant funerals, with the Great Pyramids and other structures serving as burial monuments. They were also the first to practice embalming, which continues today.
In following years, ancestor worship became an important part of funerals, and ceremonies continued to become more celebratory. Family members were often buried with trinkets and tools, ranging from their favorite possessions to the terracotta warriors of Japan. This was for a deep respect for the afterlife as well as further honoring the life and individuality of the deceased.
Cremation appeared around 1000 BC and was practiced by the Egyptians, Greeks, and other cultures. Urns containing the ashes of the deceased were often displayed at funerals. In following centuries, funeral services became a specialized trade, and independent funeral homes began to appear across the modern world. Despite some distinct differences that different religions hold, the basic concept of funerals is shared and continues to evolve.
The staff at Shipman Funeral Home & Crematory are committed to providing compassionate and respectful funeral services, so turn to them for your needs. They offer comprehensive planning services and can help you each step of the way. Call (918) 485-9525 today to speak with the staff at Shipman Funeral Home & Crematory or (918) 683-1700 to schedule an appointment at Muskogee Cremation Services. You can also visit their website to learn more about their services.