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Articles on Funerals

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A man identified only as Viktor shows his neighbor’s grave in Bucha, Ukraine. It was too dangerous to go to the cemetery. Jana Cavojska/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How burying the dead keeps the living human

Ukrainian families’ anguish at not being able to bury their loved ones underscores a deep human need, an anthropologist writes.
Some people are drawn to the idea of a natural burial to bring more of the dying ritual into their homes. LPETTET/E+ via Getty Images

What’s a natural burial? A Christian theologian explains

Green burial is not a new concept, but it is gaining interest among consumers, and some religious groups are leading the way. A theologian explains what’s involved and who natural burials appeal to.
Concerns have been raised over grief being severely, negatively impacted by the pandemic. (Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection)

As COVID-19 restrictions lift, grief literacy can help us support those around us

The negative impact of the pandemic on grief has raised concerns. Our study shows that 15 per cent of people dealing with grief are at risk of what’s known as complicated grief.
Many of the tombs in Japan are elaborately decorated. Nearby visitors can buy flowers, buckets. brooms and other gardening tools to tidy up the graves. John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images

Lack of burial space is changing age-old funeral practices, and in Japan ‘tree burials’ are gaining in popularity

In a Japanese tree burial, cremated remains are placed in the ground and a tree is planted over the ashes to mark the gravesite. Environmental responsibility is part of Buddhism.
A funeral director calls relatives of a COVID-19 victim for a virtual viewing before cremation on May 22, 2020 in New York City. Misha Friedman/Getty Images

Different faiths, same pain: How to grieve a death in the coronavirus pandemic

Religious scholars and faith leaders reflect on the death rites cultures have developed to honor the deceased, comfort the living and share the burden of mourning.
A piper plays ‘Amazing Grace’ as local residents look on during a local vigil in Wentworth, N.S., after the worst mass shooting in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Hennessey

Maritime music traditions seek to comfort after Nova Scotia shootings

Virtual music vigils after the Nova Scotia shootings draw on a long tradition of Atlantic Canadian disaster songs and ‘broadside ballads’ to mourn in a time of social distancing.
Coffins of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and others are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners. Majid Saeedi via Getty Images

Large turnouts for Soleimani’s funeral in Iran carry powerful collective emotions – just as Americans saw during the colonial era

Iranian leaders seem eager to use the powerful emotions surrounding his death to coalesce power around the regime. History shows that mass mourning is a powerful way to bring people together.

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