African American Funeral And Burial Practices
There are many different funeral and burial practices in the African American community, and most of these practices have their roots in West Africa and the Caribbean where majority of the ancestors of the African American people came from.
The African Americans, whose ancestors came from the Caribbean, have very elaborate funeral and burial practices and religion plays an important role in these practices. Usually for these African American funeral and burial practices the entire community is roped in and each individual ends up playing a specific role with clear-cut duties.
Many times the body is kept for up to a week before the funeral and burial occurs. This is primarily to wait for the relatives and family to arrive from different parts of the country. It is mandatory in the African American community to lower the coffin in the grave and then cover it. It would explain why there are few requests for cremations. But when cremation takes places, the cremains are spread in the land of their birth or the land from where their ancestors came.
African American funeral and burial practices begin at funeral homes rather than a church. Invariably the music played for the funeral is contemporary. During the wake, you mind end up hearing the deceased person's favorite music playing in the background while a video presentation on the person's life is being aired. Earlier African American funeral and burial practices used the placement of religious items in the casket. However, this had made way to placing favorite items of the deceased person. This is more to showcase how the deceased person led his life while he was alive.
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