Not only do funeral traditions vary massively between countries, religions and cultures, but also they have changed and evolved throughout the ages. We’ve gone back through the years to find out how funerals took place in history.
It seems that the Romans were one step ahead when it came to funeral plans. Mindful of the deceased’s family having to cover the costs for the funeral, Romans were the first to introduce ‘burial clubs’ where they came together to cover member’s funeral expenses. When someone within the club passed away, the other members would pool their money, resources and skills to enable the funeral to take place.
In Medieval Times dead bodies were wrapped in cloth prior to burial. The quality of the shrouding reflected the wealth and stature of the deceased, with the poor being forced to use old pieces of cloth and rag, while the rich were laid to rest in expensive and luxurious materials.
Black is often associated as an appropriate and respectful colour to wear to a funeral to show you are in mourning. But, how long should mourners continue to show their grief by wearing black? In Victorian times is was expected that widows would wear black for up to 2 years, in fact, Queen Victoria herself wore black for the rest of her life after the death of her husband.
There are lots of interesting and beautiful funeral customs in this day and age, many influenced by history, but funerals are also embracing new ways to celebrate life and respectfully mourn the dead. Pictorial cardboard coffins are just one of the more unusual and modern ways to personalise a funeral. These environmentally friendlier coffins are becoming more popular, not just with the eco-conscious, but also with those who would like to create a memorable display of someone’s life.
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