End-of-Life ceremonies often reflect a person’s cultural traditions. Here are some guidelines from various cultures around the world.
Ceremonies may include overnight visitations and a family feast. Floral tributes are acceptable gifts, as are lighting a candle in church. After the burial, the family gathers to eat and reminisce.
A rabbi performs the service, which takes place within 24 hours of death. Men wear yarmulkes. After the burial, the family sits Shiva for seven days. Kosher food baskets and charitable donations are appropriate; flowers are not.
A monk conducts the service. Families wear white; friends wear black. A donation to a charity in the name of the deceased is acceptable; gifts of food are not. White flowers are traditional.
A Hindu priest conducts the service within 24 hours of the death. Mourners dress in white and arrive empty-handed. Guests should not exchange greetings with the family but rather nod or hug. Flower garlands may be in the open casket.
Chinese families wear white at funerals. Cremations are rare. Wreaths, flowers and a picture of the deceased rest on top of the casket. Mums and chrysanthemums are appropriate.
There is a ritual of bathing and shrouding the body followed by prayer. Cremation of the body is forbidden. Ask the family if flowers are appropriate. If they are, fragrant flowers are acceptable.