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Understanding Traditional Funerals: A Glimpse into Time-Honoured Traditions

Funerals are an important part of human civilisation because they provide comfort during a time of public grieving while serving as a stark reminder of how fleeting life is. Traditional funerals in Jamaica, like in many other countries, have developed over time, incorporating a variety of rites, practises, and manners. The many elements of a traditional funeral are covered in this page.

1. The Announcement of Passing

It is customary to make an announcement of a loved one’s death. Local newspapers’ obituary pages have traditionally been used for this purpose, but in the current digital age, online tributes and social media announcements have grown more popular.

2. The Funeral Service

Held at a church, chapel, or funeral home, the service typically comprises:

  • Eulogy: A tribute speech, usually delivered by close family or friends, celebrating the life of the departed loved one.
  • Hymns and Readings: Selected hymns, accompanied by passages from religious or secular texts, serve to offer comfort.
  • Prayers: For those of religious disposition, prayers are an integral component, invoking peace for the departed.

3. The Committal Service

A committal service is held at the grave or crematorium after the burial service. Before the deceased is buried or cremated, one last farewell is said in this location.

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