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Polish Funerals

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Polish Funerals
Christianity in Poland has changed a lot in the last 100 years, in this paper I address the history in polish funerary traditions and what my family and family friends experienced when they had the unfortunately to experience a death. Back in the day, superstitions and spiritual customs were very important when dealing with the death of a loved one. The soul and spirit of the deceased were still are key elements in society’s culture. According to Martha Stortz in the article Grief and the Christian Funeral, says during a sermon “grieving works in both personal and social settings”. It is not just the family of the deceased that grieves but also the community comes together to help with the funeral. In the article Burial Rituals and Cultural Changes in the Polish Community by Igor Piekiewicz, states that death and bereavement rituals are separate though primarily focus on the deceased and the bereaved. Rituals are performed to purify the spirit and aid its transition process from the realm of the living toward the realm of the dead. Before the funeral, there is a censing of the body with blessed herbs and sprinkle it with holy water. This aims to pacify and protect the community from devilish spirits.
Considering common beliefs about life, the nature of the world, and spirituality among the given religious culture. Igor Piekiewicz indicates that being strong in a community is important for the bereaved for consolation. Another tradition performed in the household is to open and close all the doors and windows so that the soul could leave peacefully and then shut them so that it doesn’t come back to cause threat or harm. Also, it is a custom like to cover the windows and mirrors with a cloth and stop any clocks in the home. The tradition of closing the eyes and mouth of the deceased is a precaution so that they do not pull someone with them to...

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