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G W Cox Memorial Funeral Home


Basic Details To Expect When Attending Jewish Funeral Services

Respect for the deceased is exhibited by following the rules of Jewish Funeral Etiquette. The memorial service is a gathering to grieve together. Family members should be allowed to start each conversation. Then friends can share memories.

From time of death, the body of the deceased is to be observed continuously until it is buried. Usually a family member oversees the preparation for the burial ceremony. During the washing it is traditional to keep the body facing up.

Men are prepared for burial by men and women by other women. A simple white shroud is placed on the body. The men wear a prayer shawl with one tassel missing. All being interred in a simple shroud ensures the poor of receiving the same amount of dignity as the wealthy.

A wooden coffin is used because a body is supposed to turn to dust eventually. Holes are drilled in the bottom of the casket for that reason. People show sorrow by tearing at their outer clothing.

The funeral is conducted no more than 48 hours after death. Jewish custom dictates a closed casket. Prayers will be offered by a rabbi in Hebrew. Eulogies are given by the members of the family.

Conservative clothing in dark colors is the customary clothing for family and friends to wear. No casual clothes are permitted, such as sandals or shorts. That would show a lack of respect on this solemn occasion.

In most cases, only family members attend the burial at the cemetery. They next sit shiva in the following week. Flowers are not brought to the family. Instead, those who visit to offer condolences bring gifts of food.

Kosher food is a good choice. All food should be prepared for eating. This relieves the family of the chore of cooking during this period of mourning. Jewish Funeral Etiquette includes relating a memory of a time shared with the deceased. This is a way to show the family their departed is going to be remembered fondly.


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