|Forms of Alternative Funerals
There are various forms of alternative funeral choices. One of the most popular is
Cremation. Home Funerals are re-surging and Green Funerals are also gaining
in popularity. Jazz Funerals put a lively spin on the funeral procession. Others
especially sailors choose a Burial at Sea.
There are many variations on the traditional concept of what a funeral is and
should be, many believe that a death is not a time of mourning and sorrow but
rather a time for celebration of the deceased life and accomplishments.
|New Orleans "Jazz Funeral"
A unique funeral tradition in the United States occurs in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The unique tradition arises from African spiritual practices, French martial musical
traditions and uniquely African-American cultural influences.
A typical jazz funeral begins with a march by the family, friends, and a jazz band
from the home, funeral home or church to the cemetery. Throughout the march,
the band plays very somber dirges . Once the final ceremony has taken place, the
march proceeds from the cemetery to a gathering place, and the solemn music is
replaced by loud, upbeat, raucous music and dancing where onlookers join in to
celebrate the life of the deceased.
This is the origin of the New Orleans
dance known as the "second line "
where celebrants do a dance-march,
frequently while raising the hats and
umbrellas brought along as protection
from intense New Orleans weather
and waving handkerchiefs above the
head that are no longer being used to
wipe away tears.
Those with concerns about the effects on the environment of traditional
burial or cremation may choose to be buried in a fashion more suited to
their beliefs. They may choose to be buried in a coffin made of cardboard
or other easily biodegradable materials. Further, they may choose their final
resting place to be in a park or woodland and may have a tree planted over
their grave as a contribution to the environment and a remembrance.
(See: Green Funerals)
|This main topic focuses on all
subjects, but not limited to, topics
dealing with funerals and forms of
disposition that are alternative to
traditional earth burial. It covers,
cremation, burial at sea, anatomical
gifts, as well as, ancestor worship. It
also includes sections about Green
burial, Home funerals, Jazz funerals,
Life Celebrations, Hospice Care and
In some parts of North America, religious and ethnic groups have maintained the
practice of caring for their own dead. Especially with the spread of the Hospice
movement, families are assuming more responsibility at the time of death, and
home or church funerals are again returning.
Those who have been involved with such funerals have found them therapeutic
and meaningful, with costs being minimal. People are often just unaware of their
choices such as: having a home funeral, or making their own caskets.
A Home funeral is simply a funeral where the family is responsible for creating and
making all of the funeral arrangements. It usually does not involve a funeral
home or a mortuary. It is legal in most states to care for your own dead. There are
five states where a family may not care for their own dead, Connecticut, New
York, Indiana, Nebraska, and Louisiana. Complications exist in DC and Michigan.
(See: Home Funerals)
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