Historical Burial Traditions: Bahamian Burials III

In the first blog entry about Bahamian burials, you may have learned that there was a distinction among social classes and between races in life as well as in death in the Bahamas. In the second article, you may have witnessed how both Europeans and Africans influenced each other in the types of memorials reserved for the dead and the designation of a burial as permanent or transient. This article, the last in the series, shows how class defined the Bahamian burial; however, cultural influences also shaped the Bahamian burial scene.

Historic Funeral Traditions: Bahamian Burials I

At the beginning of month-long graduate school archaeological dig in the Bahamas, one student asked what the class would do if a body were found during the digs. One professor responded, “Call the authorities, because that body would not be an antiquity.”

Cemetery Etiquette

Many people may avoid graveyards, as the reminder of death is an unpleasant experience for them. But, other folks don’t mind littering, having parties or otherwise defacing or disrespecting a piece of land that – for all extents and purposes – belongs to the deceased who are buried on that property or to their families. Since graveyard etiquette is not taught in schools, we thought we’d offer some guidelines for your edification.

Understanding the Modern Christian Funeral

If you were asked to attend a Christian funeral, what can you expect? Without going into the history of Christianity, a few notes about Christian funerals can provide basics for those who are not Christians. Even if you are Christian, you may be a Catholic and the deceased may have been a Baptist. You may realize, in this latter case, that the Christian burial for the deceased may be a new experience for you.

False Crypts: Great hiding places for the homeless

If you’ve ever visited a New Orleans cemetery, you’ve probably seen a crypt, or an above-ground tomb. False crypts, also known as chest tombs, box tombs, stonebox graves or crypts, look like an above-ground tomb, but the body is buried underground. The crypt itself usually contains an enclosed base made of stone, brick or concrete, and a top rests on that base. The top may be inscribed with information about the deceased.

Six Cemetery Safety Guidelines

Have you ever walked through a cemetery doing research? Or, perhaps you visited a cemetery with friends to imbibe a few drinks far from the public eye. Perhaps the only time you visited a cemetery was during a funeral. No matter your reason for visiting a cemetery, your safety may be a concern.

Finding the Living Among the Dead

My daughter and I traveled to Wales in 2005 to find my third great grandfather’s grave. When we found it (after extensive research before our trip), we purchased some local flowers and left those flowers and a note attached to those flowers for anyone who might visit the grave later. If someone visited the grave, they may be a relative, even if distant.

Historic Funeral Traditions: Catholic

Few rituals have such historic meaning as those conducted by the Roman Catholic Church. The following list contains some historic Roman Catholic burial traditions. If these traditions have changed, that information is included as well; however, little has changed, especially concerning the reasons behind the rituals. The following information may help you to understand how the Roman Catholics view death and dying:

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