Russians have their own way of funeral services, and they coincide with their beliefs of the afterlife. Much like the others out there have their religions, or sacred traditions; a Russian tradition is one that promises much more for the deceased person than just the normal funerals that might be held throughout the world. Learning more about these customs might be ideal if you’re considering a Russian funeral service.
The body of the deceased individual must wear a belt during the burial because it is going to be needed during the resurrection on the Last Judgement. There is a lot to say about belts when it comes to Christianity to show commitment or to show that they are a valued member of society. Those of the Russian background need them when they are buried. It also protects them from any dark forces that they might come into contact with.
The body must be washed and dressed, and then laid out to rest in the home for three days before it is to be put inside the coffin. Those in the Orthodox sector of this do things a bit differently. The families must lay their loved one so that their head points towards the icon corner. If those members are Old Believers, the feet are placed closer to the icon corner. This is so the deceased is able to pray if they so choose. Those Old Believers believe that the dead can still feel for a while after their death.
For fear of waking the dead, mourning does not begin during the washing or dressing. If anything is done inappropriately throughout the process can wake the dead. The coffin is made much like a bed with padding and pillows to make them comfortable. Mourners that are around the loved one that the deceased might need after their death such as food, money, belongings that are loved to them and a reflection of their occupation.
The men will carry the coffin on their backs to the final resting place of the deceased where the funeral will also take place. A ceremony meant to “see off” the deceased is done, and then everyone prays over the body. Mourners then throw dirt on the grave showing that they are incorporating the corpse into the earth. A paper crown is then placed on the top of the head of the deceased, and mourners will throw coins and soil into the grave so that the deceased is able to pay for their transit to the other world. Mourners will then speak about the loved one, or sing laments that speak of the living person, or the soul departing.
During the moving of the body for the procession, it is thought of as bad luck if someone crosses in between the line of vehicles. This is a big consideration to be made, and it is something that a lot of those in the Russian faith want to uphold during their funeral ceremonies.