If you’ve recently been invited to attend a Jewish
funeral ceremony, you might be wondering what to expect. It’s important to understand
Jewish funeral customs, so that you can be sure you’re as respectful
as possible throughout the service. Here’s a look at some of the
things that you can expect at a Jewish funeral service.
The Funeral Service
Jewish funeral services can be held at the cemetery alongside the burial
plot, or they can be held at a synagogue or temple. The faith designates
specific family members as official mourners of the deceased, including
parents, children, spouses, and siblings. These family members do not
greet the funeral attendees until after the burial service. Before the
funeral service begins, the mourners will be ushered to the front rows
of the synagogue. An officiant or rabbi delivers a eulogy and prayers,
and then the mourners exit the synagogue.
The Burial Service
After the funeral service, the body is transported to the cemetery for
burial. The casket is lowered into the burial plot either during or after
certain prayers are recited. Mourners and attendees then place dirt over
the casket, either ceremoniously, or until the entire casket is covered.
According to Jewish tradition, the casket should be simple, plain, and
constructed only of wood.
Providing Grief Support
If you are not an official mourner of the deceased, your presence at the
funeral service is a great source of comfort to the mourners. After the
burial service is complete, the attendees form two parallel lines facing
each other. The mourners walk past the lines as a mourning prayer is recited.
The family then returns to their home to accept grief support, mourn,
and participate in shiva.
At Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, we have extensive experience planning Jewish
funeral services on Oahu, HI. Our knowledgeable and compassionate staff can help you arrange a funeral,
a burial service, and a memorial service in honor of your loved one. To
learn more about our funeral home and its services, call us today at (808) 239-8811.