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How Do Different Religions Go About Funerals? September 27, 2019

Le Roy, Genesee
How Do Different Religions Go About Funerals?, Le Roy, New York

The passing of a loved one is an extremely difficult time, and thinking about their monument or memorial service might cause some stress. However, depending on what religion your friend or relative practiced, there might be certain steps you can take to prepare. Whether they prefer a cremation urn or a cemetery monument, flowers or donations, use the following guide to learn more about the various traditions of some of the world’s religions.


In this religion, family members and friends commonly offer donations as gifts. Funeral services led by rabbis take place quickly, as the body must be buried within 24 hours of the passing. All attendees wear dark-hued clothes, and the funeral home will provide yarmulkes for the men. After the body is interred and the monument is viewed, the decedent’s closest family members undergo shiva, which is a seven-day mourning process. During this period, more distant friends and relatives will visit the family and bring gifts in the form of food.


monumentIn the Buddhist religion, loved ones send white-hued floral arrangements or make donations to a certain charity. They are invited to a viewing, where incense is burned before the body is cremated or buried. Participants offer condolences and bow before the body and often give the family a donation. The actual funeral service is carried out by a Buddhist monk, and the immediate family of the deceased wears white. 


When it comes to sending flowers to a mourning Muslim family, not everyone will approve. To be certain, ask the family, or a religious leader that knows them well. If they would like flowers, choose fragrant blooms and greens, such as palms. Just like in the Jewish religion, Muslims are to be buried within 24 hours of their death. Embalming is seen as disrespectful to the lost loved one, so the deceased is instead swaddled in a white shroud and buried without a casket. The deceased is always turned toward Mecca, which is the center and symbol of the Muslim religion.

Roman Catholicism

Those that practice this religion almost always appreciate flowers but may request charitable donations. At the wake, the body is on display in a casket, and flowers and candles display the reverence of the occasion. Most friends and family will say prayers over the body and then pay their respects to the immediate family. The funeral service is called a Requiem or mass and is led by a priest in a church. After the body is buried, loved ones gather in a home to eat and reminisce about their lost friend or family member.


This is yet another religion with a 24-hour rule, except instead of a burial, the followers opt for cremation. The funeral service is held immediately before the cremation, at which guests wear white clothing and do not bring gifts of any kind. Instead of encouraging conversation, attendees simply nod their heads in recognition or hug each other. All guests view their loved one’s remains, which will be in an open casket and decorated with flowers. Then, ten days after the passing, loved ones meet at the deceased’s home to hold a ceremony and bring gifts in the form of fruit.


If you’re looking to create a headstone design, turn to the compassionate team at Derrick Monument Co. They are proud to help clients of all religions find the perfect memorial gravestones for their loved ones. This Le Roy, NY, company has been creating beautiful monuments for grieving families since 1915 and caters to their unique needs and preferences. To view this family-owned business’ selection of grave markers, headstones, and monuments, visit the website. You can also call (585) 768-8470 to speak with a representative. 

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