What to Expect at a Jewish Funeral

Funeral Oahu

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.