A traditional burial is typically preceded by a commemorative ceremony at a chapel, church or alternative location, followed generally by a brief private gathering at the gravesite. A few words are spoken, some melodies are played, and the casket is interred in the earth.
Frequently, only immediate relatives attend the burial. Subsequent to the casket being lowered into the grave, acquaintances or family members are occasionally requested to toss flowers into the grave or place a symbolic scoop of soil on the casket, prior to departing the burial site for the remembrance celebration or reception. After the mourners have departed, the staff of the cemetery attend to cover the grave and mark the spot provisionally so that a more enduring plaque or commemoration can be added in the weeks to come.
However, in cases where simplicity or cultural norms dictate, the ceremony may still be conducted at the burial site. In such instances, mourners gather outdoors to offer prayers, recite poetry and reflect upon the life of the departed. Funerals can range from grand and elaborate affairs, with opulent flower arrangements adorning the grave, tribute cards and memorial books, to more modest events with a simple send-off conducted by a celebrant or religious official.
In certain situations, when the deceased or their loved ones prefer a natural burial, minimal preparation is done to the body, and it may be put to rest in a wicker casket or wrapped in a shroud in a designated area of the cemetery that is left as natural bushland. This creates a peaceful setting without plaques, landscaping, or other memorial structures. If you are considering burial as opposed to cremation, it might be wise to explore nearby cemeteries and secure a burial site ahead of time to ensure that your final resting place is a location where your loved ones can come to visit. Simple lawn cemeteries with their unadorned green spaces might be appealing, while others may prefer the traditional headstones and intricate monuments that were popular in the early 1900s.
There are various reasons why our society has established its customs surrounding burial. From a practical perspective, a decomposing body emits potent aromas as it disintegrates and releases gases and fluids. In the case of fluids in a cemetery, these fluids are dispersed into the surrounding soil, with the design of the site ensuring that drainage is sufficient and waterways are safeguarded from runoff.
Additionally, the act of burial is thought to provide a sense of closure to those who are grieving, as they are able to witness the casket being lowered into the ground. Although this can be an emotionally taxing experience, some experts in the field of psychology believe that this sense of finality can facilitate the progression of the mourning process.
Certain faiths prescribe specific customs when it comes to aspects like the duration between demise and interment, the orientation of the burial spot, and the articles that are placed alongside the casket holding the deceased. In case you are uncertain about any cultural or religious protocols after the passing of a dear one, you can seek guidance from your funeral director, who may be able to offer insights based on their previous experience. To access the knowledge of expert funeral directors, see more here.