Every society marks significant occasions through rituals. We hold parties to mark birthdays, weddings and graduations. Even simple and personal occasions, like getting good exam grades or a new job, can be celebrated by a special family dinner. Therefore, it’s no surprise that when our loved ones pass away, we hold funeral services to honour their departure.
Funeral rituals are carried out to express one’s thoughts, beliefs and feelings about the death of someone dear. For instance, in a Buddhist funeral ceremony, it encourages the expression of grief that is consistent with the religion and culture’s values, allows for the embracing of beliefs and faith about life and death, and help mourners acknowledge the reality of the passing.
We explore more on the reasons with regards to the importance of conducting funeral services.
1. Acknowledge the reality of death
One of the most important steps in the process of grief is acknowledging the reality and finality of death. This is to allow mourners to move forward with their grief and let the healing process take its course. This step is gradual and it typically happens in two phases.
Firstly, when you receive the news of the demise of a loved one, you acknowledge the death in your minds. Over time, especially after the funeral services, you begin to acknowledge that reality in your heart. Thus, funeral ceremonies serve an important purpose to allow the factuality of the death to set in – particularly if you may have been in great disbelief and in denial of this fact. When you make funeral arrangements and plan for casket services with the funeral director, you are slowly witnessing the finality of your loved one’s passing.
2. Channel the pain of the loss
As you begin to acknowledge the reality of death, you will soon need to embrace the pain of your loss in order to help you heal. Through funeral ceremonies, you can express your heavy emotions and thoughts in a healthy manner. Especially when you attend a funeral, you won’t be able to distract or distance yourself from the sadness and grief. It offers the right venue for you to outwardly express your painful feelings.
3. An opportunity to remember special moments
During the funeral, it also provides a place for you to think about the moments shared with the person who has passed. You get to focus on your relationship with them and share those memories with others. People often write and read eulogies to highlight major events in the deceased’s life and their personality traits or characteristics. This is a meaningful act to mourners to cherish those intimate memories and also reconcile with their grief.
4. Receive support from others
Funerals enable people to show their support – it is one of the most important aspects in funeral ceremonies to help mourners heal. It is also the central gathering place for mourners and the bereaved. When funeral attendees pay a visit, their physical presence reflects a significant display of support for the living. They are able to convey their condolences and heartfelt sympathies to let others know that they are not alone in their grief.