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Christian tradition

Custom to visit the graves of loved ones inherent to almost all people all faiths may a few exceptions. Christian, particularly the Orthodox, tradition and care visit the final resting place for a loved one is descended from the previous Greco-Roman Christianity and partly Jewish customs.

Should I go to the cemetery on Easter

Those who buried their loved ones are concerned about, "When taken to visit the graves in accordance with orthodox precepts?". So, in Christianity, direct bans on visiting cemeteries any days there is little, but it has spread over the years of the Soviet regime used to care for the graves or simply visit them at Easter is largely contrary to the spirit of this church festival.

This is especially true at the grave of drinking alcohol. And drink a holiday is not a sin, and remember, too close, but Easter - the day of the Resurrection of the Lord, and not the commemoration of the dead. Moreover, for the believing Christian Holy Week should not have any way to communicate with the idea of death.

Parent days

To visit the graves of the best days are the so-called Radonitsa SATURDAY. Memorial Easter - the ninth day after Easter Sunday is of course Tuesday. For most people this time. But with the possibility of this day should visit the grave. If you can not you can in the morning or the night before to defend the church service or even to pray for the souls of the dead.

Intended to visit the cemeteries are considered SATURDAY - days before the day of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Day. Dimitri. This is a holy day of autumn. Also in the category of parenting are the second, third and fourth Saturdays of Lent, there are three Saturday before Holy Week (Easter Week itself to visit the graves is not desired).

Is also a good reason to visit - the birthday of the deceased and the day of his patron saint. Although it is just remembering a loved one, it is useful to bring order to his grave.

If someone is forced to visit the cemetery to choose other days, for example, because of the work schedule, it may not condemn anybody. It is better to lead a regular grave in decent condition, when it is possible to find the time, than to be there every day of the year in the put and do not remember a year.

Of course, monitor the condition and appearance of the burial useful throughout the year, as if the world is really a place, so closely associated with the memory of the deceased, then this place should be kept in decent condition.


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20 April 2011

Flowers for deceased

Written by gravecare
Ancient traditions

According to ancient tradition for the deceased on his last journey the installation of a memorial, memorial service are followed by putting the wreaths around the deceased. All this was described by Dr. Ralph Solenski during the famous excavations in the cave of Shanidar in northern Iraq. Dr. Solenski in 1951 found several sites for burial in Shanidar cave. His discovery was awarded to entries in the Guinness book of records as information about the most ancient form of religious activity at human burials. During the archaeological excavations Solenski provided samples of soil from each grave Arlette Leroy Gorhan, paleobotanist from Paris. Under the microscope she found pieces of pollen and flowers of at least 8 species. Most of the flowers belonged to a group of small bright colored wild flowers. Madame Leroy Gorhan stated that the burial occurred around 62,000 BC Surprisingly, the particles of pollen preserved in the depths of the cave, because no animals, no birds could not bring flowers into the cave and could not put them directly on the site for disposal. Therefore it was concluded that 62,000 years ago, someone wandered the hillsides with sad to pick flowers for a funeral procession.

In the flower garden

Since immemorial times mankind has compared the death with sleep and this sort of rest, or sleep, usually was held in a flower garden. In “Song of Roland”, one of the famous works of ancient French literature, Archbishop Tyurpin prays to God over the bodies of his barons: "May the Lord take your soul among the flowers in the sacred garden". Roland’s prayer was alike: "Allow them to lie in the midst of the sacred flower". In ancient times the flower garden was associated with Paradise, with meadows, “washed by streams of water”, or with a garden, which is promised in the Quran to all believers.
And if Heaven was filled with flowers, then Hell is perceived as lonely, uncomfortable place. In Homer's kingdom of shadows there was no garden, no flowers. In the book of the XI century about the Odyssey Hell is presented as a space without any hint of flowers or other nice things. In the Prayer Book of Serapion, a Greek-Egyptian liturgical text of the mid-IV century, there is a prayer for the deceased: "And may his soul rest peacefully in a garden." All of these words about Paradise relate to one central concept: a cool garden with a sea of flowers.
The concept of flower Paradise is most closely connected with the burial of Jesus Christ. Jesus was referred to the garden, the simple and clean. Our modern cemeteries not very often support this concept. Today, people appreciate the concept of burial among the flowers, as described in religious books. Thus, the power of the idea that death is inextricably linked with the colors, is evident.

Flowers and symbolism

For centuries, flowers accompanied virtually every event of our life cycle, from birth to death. If we talk about death, flowers are a symbol of that all the fine does not lasts forever: as a flower cut from its stem, as well, and the thread of life once breaks. Flowers used at funerals, have their aesthetic value: the beauty of flowers helps us to cope with emotions, leveling the contrast between life and death. Flowers help us to mitigate the unpleasant taste of the death, which remains at the mourners. Flower symbolizes the fragility and vulnerability of life. Flowers, like people, need attention and care for their blossom. The number of stems in a bouquet is also important. According to the traditions of post-Soviet countries is an even number of flowers brought to the funeral, but to a living person is accepted to give the flowers only in odd numbers.

There are several theories about the origin of this tradition

In many ancient cultures even numbers were associated with an end, in this case – end of the journey of life. Odd numbers (except 13) in contrast, are a symbol of happiness, success and luck. Odd numbers are unstable; they symbolize movement, life and laughter. Even numbers are a symbol of tranquility and peace. For the ancient Pythagoreans, the personification of kindness, life, lights were odd numbers, and they symbolized the right side (the side of good luck). Unlucky left side symbolized the even numbers and with it death, evil, darkness. In Japanese culture, the numbers 1,3,5 refer to the masculine "yang" and talk about life, force, motion. The numbers 2,4,6 are the feminine "yin", rest, passivity. Japan people do not accept to give living people four flowers, because number 4 symbolizes death. Israelis, on the contrary, give an even number of flowers, but for the funeral flowers are not accepted.
In Georgia people believe that everything associated with family values brings happiness, so two flowers (pair) is a successful combination, and to the cemetery they bring an odd number of flowers "for the deceased had not taken couple with him".
European and American can in good faith give Russian girl 8 or 10 roses, and genuinely they will be surprised by her reaction. Such a picky expense of flowers takes place only up to a dozen. After this amount it does not matter whether yes or not an even number of stems are in a bouquet. Indeed, in the notorious "Million of red roses" is an even number of flowers.
And the last thing I would like to note – a special symbolism attributed to the color of the bouquet, especially in religious circles.
Purple is a symbol of repentance and loyalty. Flowers of similar color are used during the preparation and conduct of repentance for Christmas and Lent.
БWhite is a symbol of a bright holiday lights. Flowers of this color are used during the celebration of Christmas and Easter, and at other times, for any marked event.
Green is a symbol of reviving of nature in the spring time, hence the green lawns of our cemeteries. Green flowers are used in ordinary days, after the feast of the Epiphany and Pentecost.
Red symbolizes fire and blood, and the flowers of this color are used in the Feast of the Epiphany, and in other special events related to the glorification of the martyrs, the Holy Spirit and the shed blood of Christ.
Black colors are used on Good Friday, sometimes with red flowers.
So, as we see, the flowers help us to switch to the perception of symbols, and through this symbolism is being transferred most of the information relating to the death.

Significance of funeral flowers
  • Empathy. Flowers in the funeral rites and after are used for several reasons. First, with the aim of visual expression. Experiencing the pain of loss can be difficult to express feelings in words. Flowers are a clear evidence of love, compassion and respect. Through color you can offer support and condolences. In addition to send flowers to the funeral service, secured a tendency to send flowers to the house of the deceased after the funeral ceremony. Some sent flowers to the church in memory of the deceased. Flowers create an atmosphere of warmth and beauty, which emphasizes the solemnity of the funeral ritual and brings comfort to the bereaved. Who happened to attend the funeral without flowers they say that there is a feeling that something is missing, and after it a feeling of depression.
  • Traditions. Traditionally relatives send flowers to express their respect for the deceased and the family of the deceased. This is a long-standing custom which allows people to express their deepest feelings. Funeral bouquets designed for both the deceased and for his family. Bouquet of Flowers is a kind of giving the last honors to deceased.
  • Atmosphere. Flowers create an atmosphere of warmth and beauty that brings comfort to the bereaved. At the mourners left a lasting impression on the funeral rites. Flowers are a very important element that influences the formation of impressions. They directly affect that image that remains in memory. If the image does not bring pain, memories help to realize the loss. Flowers left in memory will never fade. The image colors will emerge again and again at the recollection of a funeral ceremony.
  • Flowers and religion. Flowers are the actual testimony of love and compassion. Life is a short-lived flower. This fact underlines the same idea in regard to human life. There is a special deep religious symbolism in the fact that the life of a flower is not eternal.

Death leads people to despair and causes depression, robbing from them those dear people from whom they received love, support and care. The funeral and burial traditions give them an opportunity to pay last respects and tributes to deceased. Time after the funeral is the period of mourning. Just remembering the past, relatives can appreciate how important was that person and take the loss. Only through tears and talking with a grateful listener, they can pour out their soul and express the pain, guilt and hostility of the world. Everything that happens at the ceremony and after affects the intelligent concept, but it is very important from psychological point of view to engage the emotions and feelings of suffering. Flowers also express the inexpressible, they are inherently symbolic. Respect and compassion are traditionally expressed through flowers. This tradition is one of the most entrenched in the culture for the expression of deep emotions. It is necessary to emphasize three main points, making the conclusion about the traditions associated with the funeral flowers. First, the flowers play both aesthetic and symbolic role. They contribute greatly to the solemnity and importance of ritual. Secondly, the flowers are a sign of the expression condolences to the bereaved relatives. Thirdly, flowers for loved ones serve as an element that helps to soften the perception of this mournful event, and also serve as an expression of respect for the deceased.

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