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November, traditionally, is the month when we remember our dead; when families and communities join in rituals of remembrance. Traditional funeral practices, like everything else, however, have been caught up in a modern process of change.

Irish people have always loved a 'good funeral'! There is the genuine desire to pay last respects to a deceased friend, neighbour, or relative, and show solidarity with the bereaved family at a time of grief and loss.  But there is also the social aspect of the proceedings. A funeral gathering is an opportunity to meet with old friends and acquaintances, and catch up with family and local news. It brings communities together.

Customs like the wake, the removal of the remains, the Requiem Mass, the shouldering of the coffin, the gathering and recital of the Rosary at the graveside, and the invitation to a meal, are gradually disappearing. Funeral expenses can be prohibitive for many, and an ever- increasing secularism means that humanist and other non-religious services are growing in popularity.

How times, they are a-changing!


Traditional funerals have become alarmingly expensive!