Funeral procession

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The funeral procession of Viktor Dyk, 1931, Prague, Czech Republic
The funeral procession of Alexander III, Emperor of Russia, 1894

A funeral procession is a procession, usually in motor vehicles, from a church or other place of worship to the cemetery. The deceased is usually transported in a hearse, while family and friends follow in their vehicles. In earlier times horse-drawn vehicles were used or in poorer societies a group of men would carry the deceased on a bier accompanied by a procession of people.

United States[edit]

The rules applied in most of the United States are:

  • All vehicles traveling in a funeral procession must be accompanied by a licensed escort. Usually one escort is assigned for approximately every 10 to 12 vehicles.
  • Funeral processions have the right of way[citation needed]. People are required to yield, and not interfere or cause an obstruction. Emergency vehicles are excluded from this.
  • Stickers (colored markers) must[citation needed] be attached to front and rear windows of each vehicle. Flags may also be used.
  • Everyone that is part of the procession is required to have their lights turned on, and some states require the escort to use hazard lights.


A Hindu funeral procession c. 1820

A funeral procession in Hinduism normally takes place from the house of the deceased to the cremation ground and is normally an all-male affair.[1] The eldest son leads the procession followed by others.[2] Contrary to western traditions, the procession leaves as soon as possible after death and mourners chant the name of god en route to the crematorium.[3][4] The body itself is bathed and wrapped in a white sheet, carried to the cremation ground on a bamboo stretcher.[5] The son leading the procession carries a fire pot when he leaves the house, which is used to light the funeral pyre.[2][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Bonnie G. (2008). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. p. 14. ISBN 0195148908. 
  2. ^ a b Michaels, Axel (2004). Hinduism: Past and Present. Princeton University Press. p. 133. ISBN 0691089531. 
  3. ^ Susai Anthony, Kenneth Schouler (2009). The Everything Hinduism Book: Learn the Traditions and Rituals of the "Religion of Peace". Everything Books. p. 251. ISBN 1598698621. 
  4. ^ Bowen, Paul (1998). Themes and Issues in Hinduism. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 270. ISBN 0304338516. 
  5. ^ a b "Gandhi's son will light traditional funeral pyre". Ocala Star-Banner. 24 May 1991. Retrieved 3 May 2012.