What to Expect at a Jewish Funeral

Different religions and cultures have different ways of honoring the lives of those who have passed on. Even among members of the same religion, including Judaism, one can find different beliefs and traditions. However, there are some basic tenets that are common among different traditions. For example, according to the Jewish faith, burial at the cemetery should take place within 24 hours. In modern times, this is generally more flexible as it may take distant family members some time to travel to the funeral home or cemetery.

What to Expect at a Jewish Funeral - Mountain View Funeral Home

Greeting the Mourners

If you’ve previously been to a funeral service, you may be expecting to greet the family members and offer condolences before the ceremony begins. However, for a Jewish funeral, this is generally delayed until after the burial at the cemetery. Family members typically wait in a separate room as the other mourners arrive. They will take their seats just before the start of the service.

Tearing the Garments

Keriah, or tearing, is traditional at Jewish funerals . A black ribbon may be placed on the outer garments of the mourners to symbolize this. Some Orthodox Jewish families may still follow the practice of tearing a garment of clothing. Keriah symbolizes the tear of the fabric of the family following a loss and it serves as a physical manifestation of grief.

Conducting the Funeral Service

Once everyone is seated at the funeral service, prayers are read and a eulogy is delivered. The officiant may deliver the eulogy, which is written to combine the memories of the lost loved one from the family members. Or, family members and close friends may share their memories directly. After a final prayer is read, the family members may return to a separate room to await the funeral procession to the cemetery.

At Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory, we can help you design a funeral service and cremation or burial as unique as your loved one’s life. Our funeral home offers services that pay proper homage to religious traditions from all walks of life. Families in the Tacoma area can connect with our memorial park by calling (253) 584-0252 or by visiting our website.

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