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The part about funerals for firefighters seems pretty non-sequitur. There are lots of specific traditions for deceased people of various professions; to list a single one seems odd. Either delete, or make a new section that includes military funerals, police, youth, et cetera. Tuckerma 19:47, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Traditional funerals[edit]

The heading "traditional funerals" should be renamed to something like "Christian funerals." It is not relevant to Jewish funerals (and some of the stuff on Jewish mourning practices is somewhat inaccurate).

North-American based[edit]

This article is very North-American based, for example 'wakes' are only briefly referred to in the context of 'Irish descendants' whereas wakes are a feature of Irish funerals in general so perhaps the section on Irish-descendants needs to be linked to a larger section on Irish funerals? --whoever wrote that an Irish wake is a party for 3 day needs their head examined. delete delete delete for 3 days.


The word "decedent" is misspelled throughout the article. It is spelled "decedant" in many places here. Radishes 23:37, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for that. This has been fixed. Graham 07:18, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Should it not be "the deceased" rather than "the decedent" anyways? Tuckerma 19:47, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Funeral garlands[edit]

The session Funeral garlands style's is completely inadequate for Wikipedia. It should be written in a more neutral, objective style.

Refusal to accept a request for no flowers[edit]

I have never heard of a newspaper refusing to accept a death notice that asks for no flowers. Is this common, as suggested in the article? I expect that the sentence should be deleted (or at the very least, change "most newspapers" to "some newspapers"), but I don't have any experience in this area, so I'd like to seek some clarification before editing. - Cafemusique 19:33 20 May 2003 (UTC)

Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death quotes a newspaperman who said, "We couldn't publish a notice like that. Why, the florists would be right on our necks!" In some states, I understand that the issue has been dealt with by legislation. Locally, obituaries asking specifically that flowers be omitted are still never seen, so I gather that the practice is not entirely obsolete. -- IHCOYC 13:40 21 May 2003 (UTC)
They're very common here in Canada, actually. Looking at the last 20 obits in the Herald, 12 say "no flowers, donations instead to..." and 4 say "in lieu of flowers, please make contributions to...". The other four say "no funeral service will be held". --Charlene 12:05, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

-In South Wales (and i assume most of the UK?) there is no say-so from the newspapers about what is included in the obituary notice, what is written is down to the family of the deceased, guided by the experience of the funeral director. However, our local newspaper will not allow thanks to be given in the obituary, but when i asked them why, they didn't know.(!)Kim3000 15:31, 30 August 2007 (UTC)



The deceased person is usually either cremated or deposited in a tomb, often a hole in the earth, called a grave. Graves are usually grouped together in a plot of land called a "cemetery" or a "graveyard" and are often arranged by a funeral home or undertaker.

As I'm not sure this actually fits with 'funeral' so much as 'what happens to a dead body'. perhaps a subtle distinction, but funeral should be more about the ceremony & customs I feel- the above text perhpsa could be worked in further down the page? quercus robur 11:26 23 May 2003 (UTC)

I expanded this a bit and gave it its own section. It probably fits here better than I can imagine it fitting into anywhere else; it could, of course, be split up between tomb, cremation, and so forth, but there probably should be a list of all of them. "What happens to a dead body" seems an odd subject heading, and besides, we already have that article at decomposition. -- IHCOYC 15:32 23 May 2003 (UTC)
"Funeral: The solemn rites used in the disposition of a dead human body, whether such disposition be by interment, burning, or otherwise; esp., the ceremony or solemnization of interment; obsequies; burial;" objectively, a "funeral" is "what people do with a dead body". That some people bury the bodies in a plot of land set aside for that purpose is a very culturally specific custom. Some cultures don't bury their dead. That is exactly the sort of information this article should be explaining. Sheherazahde (talk) 06:49, 22 October 2010 (UTC)


As a general observation, the selection of regions covered is very piecemeal. More specifically, the North American section needs a reference to Mexico, a glaring omission. I believe the ceremonies are different there from the US, but I don't know to what extent. I can't make sense of the section on an Irish Wake; if I could, I'm pretty sure it would belong under Visitation, not Luncheon. There's also some inconsistent usage of "memorial service". Last thing, under Japan, the sentence on "Oriental" cultures (aside from its pejorative connotations) seems to present a very specific detail that is presumably (but not overtly) related to the previous paragraph without any further detail. Free 00:27, 2005 August 12 (UTC).

African Funerals[edit]

I don't know where someone ripped-off this information, but it's definitely not in-line with Wiki's neutral point-of-view policy. Furthermore, the punctuation and capitalization conventions are outdated. I'm going to edit this, although I have nothing to contribute to the article itself. --JH. Jan 8, 2005

European Funerals[edit]

there needs to be something on continental services, I've heard that the Dutch don't do embalmings and I imagine there is probably a good deal of variation in europe. -K 26/2/05

Every insight counts. Please allow individual to brief through and we will determine if it's relevant.  :)

Europe is also seeing an increase in secular, non religious funeral ceremonies, but there is virtually no mention of that here. A funeral needn't be religious at all. (User:arthurchappell

Japanese Funeral[edit]

Japan or China or Asia or what?[edit]

It talkts about Japanese whcvvcbvnbg nngjymjhjjjite clothes, and then about Chinese white enveloppe presents?

I know quite a few people back in my village don't make the difference between chinese, japanese and thai, but this is an Encyclopedia!

Problem is, I can't correct the thing myself because I don't know whether it was refering to a Japanese habit, or a general asian thing. (Cefalópodo 12:02, 20 September 2005 (UTC))

regarding these concerns, i've done some editing on this section. "oriental" was changed to the more specific "east" and "southeast asian", since "oriental" can also refer to other parts of asia. more work is needed however.

Why is Japan not under East Asia?[edit]

It seems strange that there is a heading for Japan and then a separate one for East Asia, especially when the East Asia section actually discusses Japan.

I don't want to screw things up by trying to modify it but this seems like an error.Demondufeu (talk) 20:31, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

I've thought the same thing. I guess some editor didn't think things through. I've got some sources on Japanese funerals, I might take a stab at re-arranging and merging the material under the East Asia heading. Boneyard90 (talk) 22:52, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Fixed. If someone comes by to revert, just put it back. — LlywelynII 12:18, 26 November 2013 (UTC)


Just wanted to let you know someone quite knowledgable in this field added that article... and that it can be merged and/or expanded. - RoyBoy 800 05:23, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Viewing, Visitation, and Wake are not the same thing. A viewing is just that - viewing the body. It can take place in the hospital, home, funeral parlor, religious edifice, public building, and/or graveside. A visitation need not involve the body at all. It involves visiting the bereaved – usually within a week or so of the death. Visitation and viewing are often merged. A wake is a celebration of the deceased's life and generally involves a party. Rklawton 15:34, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I removed the following:

because the link to AMS lists many medical schools which accept anatomical gifts, whereas Georgetown is only one

is just plain weird. I could be wrong about that one; maybe it really is relevant to funeral, but it doesn't look it to me.

is spam. Twice, in fact, two links in one sentence

  • Easybyte - free easy piano arrangements of music suitable for funerals (Thaxted, Purcell, Chopin)

is nice, but the vast majority of the music is not funeral music. Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 11:23, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

The Rohan Kriwaczek hoax[edit]

There never was any such thing as the The Guild of Funerary Violinists

Ogg 10:44, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Rosicrucian external link[edit]

I originally deleted this link because it appeared to be an article mainly talking about the beliefs (rather than the funeral rites) of a minor Christian tradition. To include links to all similarly popular customs would overwhelm the article, and actual the information about funeral rites is minimal and buried far down the page. Hence my reasoning of it being unencyclopedic in this context. I do not think the link should be on the article, but since another editor disagrees I thought I should bring this to the talk page to find out what other editors think. --Siobhan Hansa 03:41, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your fine comment. I strongly agree with the deletion of external links to commercial, forum or blog sites (as it is already defined at WP:EL). However, informative links (as the mentioned one) describe specific funeral rites or methods which are often associated to specific religious-spiritual contexts ("beliefs", traditions) of each specific culture (and these traditions exist from ancient times to current-days). In this sense, I think that if links exist, and are added, to specific funeral rites (or to beliefs which require and describe specific funeral methods) it should be welcome as it gives opportunity for firsthand acquaintance with them (see the example of Spirituality article with links according to each specific tradition). For me it is a study field of special interest, but I did not find till now many sites online dwelling into this subject. However, whatever the decision of editors, keep or remove, it will be accepted and the current link (introduced by myself) kept or removed accordingly. Thank you for your attention. --Viriathus 20:48, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Silly comments/requests[edit]

I removed a paragraph stating that it's very rude to have your phone turned on during a funeral - which seems rather obvious for an encyclopedia article - what next? an exhortation not to sing showtunes as the coffin is lowered?!. And for someone to request a citation! - Who is going to confirm it? Better to delete than be daft with citation requests. Stevingtonian 11:14, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps someone has a book by Miss Manners available where she addresses funeral etiquette. If it is inserted back in, she would likely be considered a reliable source ... but I want to see what, if anything, she has to say first — including showtunes. [[Briguy52748 (talk) 19:01, 15 April 2008 (UTC)]]

Text added to article[edit]

This text was added to the article, presumably referring to Jewish funeral customs:

Consult Roth, Cecil. Encyclopedia Judaica. Keter House, 1972. See entries on Funerals & Cemeteries & Death Customs.

Graham87 02:06, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Night Funerals?[edit]

Have there been any night funerals in some cases? I know most funerals are in the daytime, but I'm just curious as to if they do have night funerals.

Use of "we" in Ancient funeral rites section[edit]

I was reading the section and noticed that it is written as "Wefind" and "Weread." I just want to check to see if there's any reason for this before I change it. --Romulus 03:20, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

No, there's no particular reason for that. Use of "we" is usually unencyclopedic unless it is part of a quote. Graham87 11:07, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to change it in the 'Ancient funeral rites intro', then --Romulus 01:03, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion for Improvement[edit]

Instead of listing funerals from a number of places and then saying "Main article..." can we place a small description of each funeral there? Saves having to jump from page to page to compare minor and major differences. Thanks Naysie (my tildes key is broken)

I'm very concerned about this entry. Full disclosure: I'm the executive director of a nonprofit consumer advocacy charity, founded in 1963, dedicated to protecting people from funeral fraud, and from overspending in funerals. The organization I work for, Funeral Consumers Alliance [] is a federation of nonprofit societies that lobbied for the passage of the Federal Trade Commission's "Funeral Rule," the only national regulations giving the bereaved the right to accurate price information, and the right to choose only what they want and can afford [1].

The heading, "Traditional Funerals," is very misleading. As others have pointed out, it's U.S.-centric. It would not even be accurate to relabel it "Christian Funerals," since the practice of embalming and making-up the body for full public display has no roots in Christianity. It is, in fact, a creation of the late 19th-century commercial American mortuary industry. It also fails to acknowledge the fact that what the U.S. calls a "traditional" funeral is, in fact, a very recent commercially created "tradition" (Mitford, 1963. The American Way of Death. Simon & Schuster, New York. PP. 222 - 240).

Much of this entry appears to have been written from the point of view of those who sell funerals. The article does not have nearly enough from the consumers of funerals, or from the watchdog groups that try to protect the public from undue sales pressure. Much of what this article cites as fact is hotly contested by consumer advocates. There is much more to this story that needs to be told.

Joshuaslocum 02:23, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Given your conflict of interest, the best place to begin addressing these problems would be right here on the talk page. You can post here specific suggestions and links to neutral sources. Neutral editors can then review them and, if appropriate, add them to the article. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Cheers - Rklawton 04:08, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I have no conflict of interest and I agree with Joshuaslocum. this is a very bad article. Rites relating to the dead vary considerably and this article seems to be an ad for commercial funeral services in the US. I think different religions and different countries should get their own pages, and the general "funeral" page should just give an overview listing issues such as air burial, water burial, and cremation as well as entombment. Also such issues as mummification and embalming versus allowing the body to decompose. Something about modern Green burials might also be relevant. Sheherazahde (talk) 06:39, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

It strikes me as very odd that section 2; "Religious Funerals" doesn't have a subsection for "Christian funerals". I've attended many Christian funerals, so I'm quite confident that they exist. I know that my experiences would constitute "original research", so I'm at a bit of a loss... Christianity is a very popular religion, yet doesn't seem to merit a mention in this article. Incidentally, I'm not a Christian myself, so I have no vested interest in its inclusion here. Steve Lowther (talk) 16:41, 27 July 2009 (UTC) Okay, I took it upon myself to add a link at the very least. Maybe someone with more knowledge of Christianity can add some more. Steve Lowther (talk) 18:08, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Black tie only?[edit]

White tie is prefered in a funeral, at least in parts of Europe, if the person was very close to the deceased. Why doesn't the article mention anything about that? --The monkeyhate 15:35, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Non Religous Funerals[edit]

As the number of non-religious people has grown to a massive number recently, does anyone know if there are funeral services conducted in a secular manner without any religion, how they work etc? ( 00:00, 9 September 2007 (UTC))

I'd be fine with a mention of that in the article, but Wikipedia does not allow direct copy-and-pastes from websites - they are usually copyright violations, and in the case of the BBC they definitely are. While doing a quick search I found the Wikipedia article Humanist officiant which seems to be relevant. Graham87 07:52, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
To's question, I recently attended a friend's funeral, which was a humanist service. No mention of God, although the funeral did take part in a C of E church because it was the only local venue large enough to accommodate the vast quantity of mourners. It was without a doubt the most beautiful funeral I had ever attended, more info from the British Humanist Association here. I will add something to the Wikipedia page regarding this. Tris2000 (talk) 10:19, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


I've fixed up the lede by adding correct historical information and reliable cites. Bearian (talk) 17:03, 4 September 2008 (UTC)


"Of course, most family members of a deceased person would regard any wishes the deceased had made known as carrying considerable moral authority." Why is there general assumptions in this article?

"Mark a person's life"[edit]

Shouldn't this read "mark a person's death"? (talk) 03:55, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Other religious traditions[edit]

A Baha'i scholar needs to make a sectional on Baha'i funerals! I know the body should be buried (not cremated, not embalmed, wrapped in silk or cotton)within 1 hours travel, a specific prayer said, and a burial ring is a specific inscription placed on a finger; but that's all I know. Any other specifics?

We need a section on traditional Chinese funerals (Taoism/Rujiao/Zhao rites). An entire section on Bahai funerals on a general article would be WP:UNDUE pending some mass conversions (5 million isn't nothing but at the same time it's less than regional flavors of Southern American Protestants), but there could be some sort of "Other" section for religions with under a few hundred million adherents for Bahai, Zoroastrian, Scientology, &c. — LlywelynII 12:14, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm a Baha'i and a mathematician, not a scholar, but having planned many Baha'i funerals, started the section suggested, and sourced from the Iqan. thanks! PS: WP:UNDUE has been found not to apply to Baha'i topics in general articles all across Wiki for over 6 years, in numerous admin and bureau forums; it is about notability, not quantity, as the essence of those decisions. Example: hundreds of other general articles on social and religious topics that now include Baha'i sections, which have not been successfully challenged or removed. This doesn't mean that other smaller groups should be ignored either, as well as larger groups in China. Pdecalculus (talk) 18:07, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

resource BusinessWeek[edit]

The Greening of Death "Eco-friendly services are a small part of the $12 billion funeral industry, but they're ready for their moment in the sun" November 03, 2011 by Eric Spitznagel Plus example Fertilizer: Cryogenically frozen using liquid nitrogen, the body is broken down into dust and buried in a biodegradable casket. The remains turn into loam—a farming friendly soil. (talk) 22:37, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Chinese funeral[edit]

The gift giving is only in Southern China. I know it's original research but I've just come back from my gf's dad's funeral, he died in Shenzhen and we are in Xi'an and my girlfriend's family were appalled at how the Guangdongers asked for money all the time and said it was their local custom as asking money from the grieving relatives is certainly not practiced in Shaanxi. I came to look it up to see if it was a legitimate practice and there it was in black and white. Nonetheless it is not practiced in the North, I know it's O.R. but it is the truth. (talk) 10:58, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

It's not O.R. if you can find a reliable source. Surely, someone has written on these cultural practices. Boneyard90 (talk) 11:21, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Excessively regional description of practices[edit]

I think the description of "traditional" practices in N. America and Europe is excessively biased toward apparent US practice. In 40 years of attending funerals in Wales/bordering parts of England, I have never attended a funeral where the body is viewed at the funeral - and normally it's only viewed at the funeral directors' premises by the closest relatives (spouse, adult children) if they feel up to it, or weren't present when death occurred - my father was only viewed by my eldest brother who wasn't there when he died, I, my other brother, and my mother were there and didn't feel the need; I did view my mother (and in hindsight would rather prefer if I hadn't, better to remember them as they were). -- Arwel Parry (talk) 09:09, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry for your loss. As far as the article goes, though, it sounds like you had a more singularly regional experience. If it's a concern of yours, try to find some sources. It's certainly not abnormal to have a viewing. — LlywelynII 12:09, 26 November 2013 (UTC)


This article needs it. There are pieces of different cultures lying around everywhere. Also, it should at least have a mention of (and link to) the traditional custom nearly everywhere in the world after the Neolithic of human sacrifice at these affairs. — LlywelynII 12:09, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Broken links[edit]

References 31 and 32 appear to be broken links. If somebody else could check in their own system, to make sure it's not just me. Thedilettante14 (talk) 18:24, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Disorganized article[edit]

I do not think this article is poorly done or written, I just think the organization needs a lot of work. The article is too all over the place; too messy and disorganized. The article also needs to add citations to each section to prove its accuracy.

Firstly, I think that the introduction should be cleaned up. The etymology of the word funeral should be placed at the beginning of the intro with the definition(s) of funeral, not at the end of the intro. It is too randomly placed amongst the tidbits about different funerary practices.

I appreciate that this article explores the funerary beliefs and traditions of a wide variety of religions and cultural groups. However, I think that the history of funerals, beginning with the Neanderthals, should be further explained instead of just being set as an overview. The article should be organized into a timeline – starting with 60,000 B.C. when the first funeral traditions began (as far as we are aware) and onto the start of burials and embalming. Some of this information is mentioned but only briefly. I think it would be important to start with the basic practices and history of funerals before immediately delving into multiple religious practices.

Another problem with the article is the lack of citations. For example, the random sections on final dispositions and ‘burial in space’ are a mere few sentences and have little sources to prove their reliability.

The article also has an issue with making assumptions about things. One example is in the paragraph about anatomical gifts. The writer states that people donate their bodies to science to save money on funerals and burial costs. Although this is true, it is only true in some cases. The sentence should be restructured to show that this is only one of many reasons people choose to give their bodies to science. Some physicians, for example, donate their bodies after passing as a sign of respect to their careers. Mlgeorge925 (talk) 21:09, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Lack of Information[edit]

I think that the article is fairly well written but there are several places where there is a lacking of information. I think that there could be more information on the specifics of the funerals. For instance, there is nothing written about Buddhist funerals except for one sentence. I think that because funerals are such sacred and sentimental ceremonies each religion and culture would celebrate them in a specific way. When someone who is Christian is reading this article it does not provide them with much insight to what a Buddhist funeral looks like. To me this seems biased because it only shares certain parts of information. I also noticed that there aren't many religions listed in the section and it would be cool and more informative to include more religions so someone who is reading this could compare and contrast the differences in cultures and religions. I also see that there isn't anything listed for funerals in certain countries and I think that more information should be included there as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MariahBeebe (talkcontribs) 00:48, 2 February 2016