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The death of a loved one can be a difficult and confusing time, especially if you’re unsure of the customs surrounding funerals and burial ceremonies. For more information, visit these websites and call Chapel of the Chimes, Hayward at (510) 471-3363.

  • Cremation is a popular way to care for the body of the deceased. Read more about the term and its history on this site.

  • Sky Burial is a Tibetan tradition. Read this short, firsthand account for more information about this unique custom.

  • Christian funeral services have unique features and traditions. Explore the BBC’s article for more information.

  • Chevra Kadisha are Jewish burial groups that prepare the body of the deceased. NPR has a transcript of an interview with a member of one group.

  • All over the country are groups that sew tachrichim shrouds for deceased Jewish men and women—read a profile of one such organization.

A Look at Jewish Burial Traditions

Jewish Cemetery Customs

Jewish burial customs reflect the highly codified and traditional nature of the religion. While some of the traditions are similar to Western secular and Christian funeral and burial conventions, Judaism also prescribes specific proceedings for the remains of the deceased.

This is one of the most important aspects of caring for the Jewish deceased. Respect for the remains of the dead is the motivating force for many Jewish traditions. For example, the body should be interred as soon as possible. Waiting for family members to travel from afar is acceptable because this shows respect for the loved one who passed. To show respect to the body, Jewish tradition also prohibits embalming, viewing, and cremation. At the burial, friends and family of the deceased perform chesed shel emet––shoveling dirt onto the casket. This is a sign of unselfish love and respect, since there will be no opportunity for reciprocation.

The death of a loved one is taken very seriously in Jewish tradition, which shows in the level of care given to the departed. Between the time of death and interment, the body is constantly looked after by a shomer, or watchman. Many communities have chevra kadisha, Jewish burial societies, who prepare the body of the deceased.

Jewish burials are notable for their austere atmosphere. The body of the deceased is dressed in a tachrichim, a traditional burial garment of simple white cloth. Unlike Christian funerals, traditional Jewish services have no music or flowers, and the ceremony is very solemn and minimal to show respect for the dead.

For help planning a burial ceremony, no matter the tradition, consult Chapel of the Chimes - Hayward. With experience in handling funeral preparations for a wide range of cultures, Chapel of the Chimes - Hayward will help you to honor your loved one. Schedule an appointment by calling (510) 471-3363.

Dealing With Death: Dealing With Grief After Death

After the death of a loved one, grief will naturally follow. How grief will manifest and how long it will take to regain a sense of normalcy is completely dependent on the individual.

In this video, a hospice employee describes grief as a process. It’s important to grieve at the time of a loss and to seek support if you need it––from friends, support groups, or professional counselors. Always remember that grief is unique to the individual and that you will never forget your loved one.

If you recently experienced the death of a loved one and are looking for burial or funeral services, Chapel of the Chimes - Hayward offers compassionate help in planning ceremonies and memorial services. Visit our website or call (510) 471-3363 for more information.

How Different Cultures Pay Tribute to Loved Ones

Many Americans are unfamiliar with different approaches to mourning. The ritual of a funeral with a cemetery burial or cremation comforts those who have lost a loved one. It also provides a way to pay tribute to the departed.

Balinese Offering

Because we are used to this formal, solemn grieving process, the burial and funeral traditions of other cultures can be surprising or even shocking. Even so, they come from the same place of grief and remembrance. Keep reading to explore the traditions of a few different cultures.

  • One of the better-known cultural burial traditions is Tibet’s sky burial. After a death in Tibet, the remains are separated into pieces, which are transported to a high point on a mountain. Here, birds and other animals dispose of the remains. This might seem odd or alarming to Americans, but it’s in keeping with Tibet’s Buddhist beliefs. Practitioners of Buddhism believe the body is empty after death and the spirit has already departed.

  • In Bali, a common tradition is fire burial. The body is ritually cleansed and laid out. Then, mourners leave tributes of food for the deceased. After this, the body is put into a mass grave. When a number of families have gathered, there is a group cremation.

  • After the death of a loved one in Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Cambodia, a “spirit house” is erected outside of his or her family’s house. There, the family leaves offerings of food and drink for the deceased.

  • Hindu custom indicates that burning is the way to release the soul of the departed. After death, the body is prepared with flowers and new clothing. The deceased is then placed on a funeral pyre, where the chief mourner performs the ceremony and lights the fire.

If there’s a special way in which you wish to pay tribute to your departed loved one, let Chapel of the Chimes of Hayward assist you. With experience in the mourning traditions of many cultures, Chapel of the Chimes is always sensitive to your needs. Call us at (510) 471-3363 or contact us online for more information.

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