Honoring Cultural Diversity at End of Life

Culture plays a major role in determining your religious and spiritual beliefs and how those may impact your choices about End of Life services. Awareness and sensitivity about culturally diverse customs helps ensure that your deceased loved one’s traditions are honored.

Customs and Events

End of Life services often include religious or spiritual elements. A brief overview of Hindu, Jewish and Muslim services follows to help you understand the customs of these cultures and religions.

Hindu Services

A Hindu priest conducts the service within 24 hours after death. Mourners dress casually in white clothes. Guests do not exchange greetings or bring offerings but instead nod or embrace in sympathy. Seasonal flowers and garlands may be laid in the open casket.

A ceremony ten days after death liberates the deceased’s soul into Heaven. Visitors bring fruit offerings.

Jewish Services

Attendees wear dark-colored clothing to express grief. Men wear a head covering or yarmulke provided by the funeral home.

Judaism teaches that an important mitzvoth or commandment is to help a deceased loved one to t heir final resting place. Placing eart h in the grave is powerful and symbolic.

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