Transition Rituals

A faith-by-faith guide to rites for the deceased

 



Baha'i

Belief about death

Death is regarded as a 'messenger of joy' for the deceased. Baha'is believe the soul lives on after the body's death and embarks on a spiritual journey.



Funeral practices

Baha'i dead must be buried within an hour's travel distance from the place of death. Baha'is do not embalm or cremate their dead. The dead body is washed and wrapped in a shroud. Baha'is are often buried wearing a Baha'i burial ring. The only ceremonial requirement of a funeral is the recitation of the Prayer for the Dead.



Mourning rituals

There are no Baha'i mourning rituals.



More Online

:


  • A Baha'i View of Life After Death
  • Baha'i World: Life, Death and the Soul
  • Baha'i Prayer for the Dead

    Buddhism
    Belief about death
    Death of the physical body is certain, but only a part of an ongoing process of re-incarnation until one receives enlightenment. After death it is believed that the dead person goes through a transformation in which they discover death, and prepare for their rebirth (if there is one).

    Funeral practices
    In early times and commonly today, Buddhists cremate the bodies of their dead. The first seven days after death are the most important for final and funereal prayer.

    Mourning rituals
    Prayers are said weekly, during a 49-day funeral period. It is during this period that the prayers of the mourners are believed to help the deceased during the post-death transformation and awaken their spirit to the true nature of death.

    More on Beliefnet:
  • A Buddhist Meditation on Death

    More online:
  • Buddhist Funeral Rites

    Catholicism
    Belief about death
    Catholics see death as a passage from this life to the new, everlasting life promised by Christ. The soul of the deceased goes on to the afterlife, which includes Purgatory as well as Heaven and Hell. According to Catholic belief, the bodies of the dead will be resurrected at the end of time.

    Funeral practices
    The Catholic funeral service is called the Mass of the Resurrection. During it, Jesus Christ's life is remembered and related to that of the deceased. Eulogies are not allowed during the funeral mass, but may be delivered at a wake or other non-religious ceremony. There is also a final graveside farewell, and additional traditions depending on the region. The Church encourages Catholics to be buried in Catholic cemeteries. In 1963, the Vatican lifted the ban on cremation for Catholics. However, the cremains must be interred, not scattered or kept at home.

    Mourning rituals
    The community and the church support mourners through the funeral mass and through non-religious services like wakes.

    More on Beliefnet:
  • Catholic Rituals for the Dying

    More online:
  • Catholic Funeral Guidelines

    Continued on page 2: »

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