ojyram said:How much there is to know! Such interesting customs as give people comfort. I would never have imagined such a custom as hiring wailers, keeners, or carpideiras. I imagine this is about honor and respect... that having so many weepers shows the world that the world has lost a beloved and valuable person. Is there an element of status involved? Here in the USA, seeing many flowers at a funeral is a sign of the same thing, so we have the custom of sending large and expensive flower arrangements to the funeral home.
Good question, Amityville. The comments on flowers, etc, are here and now - here being Northern Ireland.Amityville said:What time and place are you describing, Panjandrum ?
Citrus said:Actually in some Latin American cultures there was the belief that you "paid" for your sins with tears. So, if you had commited a lot of sins and hadn't wept enough you didn't have the right to go to heaven or even (if the amount of sins you had committed warranted it) to move on from this earth. In that case your spirit would wander about until someone took pity on it and cried for you.
People began to hire "mourners" to "buy" their way into heaven or the way of the dead. . . . . and this is how this costum came into being (or so I've heard )
P.D. I'm sure I've commited some mistakes . . . please correct them. THANKS!
panjandrum said:The keener was not at all a prostitution of tears, but an integral part of the funeral - rather, I was suggesting, as a good midwife was an integral, and welcome, part of the birth.
te gato said:I wonder..If you are a jerk in 'Life'..are you still a jerk in 'Death'?
Therefore..no amount of keening and wailing is going to grant you absolution..
Clearly there is a Celt in there somewherete gato said:we celebrate the 'deceased' and the life that they had..and how much we loved them..with food..drink..and song...