A funeral is a ceremony connected with the burial, cremation, etc. of the body of a dead person, or the burial (or equivalent) with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs vary widely both between cultures and between religious groups and denominations within cultures. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, and offering support and sympathy to the bereaved. Additionally, funerals often have religious aspects which are intended to help the soul of the deceased reach the afterlife, resurrection or reincarnation.
The funeral usually includes a ritual through which the corpse of the deceased is given up. Depending on culture and religion, these can involve either the destruction of the body (for example, by cremation or sky burial) or its preservation (for example, by mummification or interment). Differing beliefs about cleanliness and the relationship between body and soul are reflected in funerary practices. When a funerary ceremony is performed but the body of the deceased is not available, it is usually called a memorial service.
The word funeral comes from the Latin funus, which had a variety of meanings, including the corpse and the funerary rites themselves. Funerary art is art produced in connection with burials, including many kinds of tombs, and objects specially made for burial with a corpse....LESS