Funeral practices research papers explore the many different types of funeral practices throughout the world and in various societies. Have Paper Masters custom write a research paper on any culture's or religion's funeral practices.
"The mystery of death has always been surrounded, even in the most primitive cultures, by ritualistic forms." A research paper on funeral practices goes on to note that because of the "inexplicable quality" of death, many cultures see a religious significance in it. Religious rites formulated by different religions are attempts to interpret the meaning of death in religious, spiritual, terms. These rites are also intended to take into consideration human emotions such as grief which commonly arise from the death of someone.
The Church and Funeral Practices
From very early times the Christian church has conducted rites when death occurred in the fellowship." Inscriptions and drawings in the catacombs of Rome testify to this, and indicate the nature of the rites associated with death. Today's Catholic rites are an elaboration of the simple rites held in the catacombs. Today's Catholic service is a "highly stylized funeral service." This service is designed to serve several functions.
- One of the main ones is the establishment of a sympathy between the pastor and the grieving survivors.
- In a way that no other pastoral duties or activities do, the funeral service offers a pastor an opportunity to show his understanding of the circumstance and the feelings of the mourners as he involves himself with them and leads them through the spiritual and emotional experience of the funeral service.
- During this time, the pastor also attempts to give Catholicism's interpretation of the meaning of death and the role of bereavement. This role calls for both the theological and psychological knowledge and understanding of the pastor.
- In the relationship with the mourners established before and during the funeral service, the pastor is also laying the ground for "post-funeral counseling" which may take place.
Funeral - The Purpose
Andrew Blackwood is quoted by Irion as giving a good answer to the question, "What is the purpose of the funeral?""The chief aim is to glorify God," Blackwood begins his answer. The best way to do this under the circumstances is for the pastor to "administer comfort." Blackwood notes that the "root idea" of the word comfort means "to strengthen in the Lord." In his comforting of the bereaved and performing the funeral service, the pastor tries to bring the mourners into a right relationship with God.