Funeral Rituals – Article Example

The paper "Funeral Rituals" is an exceptional example of an article review on religion and theology. Diversity in culture has manifested a variety of ways by which people have practiced traditions in marriage, festivities and even in funerals. For this particular essay, two online articles would be selected to describe two different funeral event and the rituals from disparate cultures where a comparative analysis of the rituals would be proffered.
From the Assyrian culture, an article entitled “Assyrian Rituals of Life-Cycle Events” written by Yoab Benjamin and published in the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) in 2011 described funeral events as simple and adheres to strict religious traditions. As indicated, the custom is to bury the dead quickly, possibly within the day of death. According to the author, “the washing of the body is performed in strict accordance with the ceremony prescribed in the Book of the Dead” (Benjamin: Death and Burial par. 6). A funeral procession composed only of men accompany the dead to the burial ground where special hymns are sung along the way. Interment prescribes “the coffin is placed by the side of the excavation, which has been dug east-west so the dead will face east” (Benjamin par. 10). Incenses, prayers, and hymns are offered during the ritual.
In another article entitled “Video of bin Laden's sea burial to be released?” written by Brinley Bruton of NBC News and msn on May 2, 2011, the sea burial was described as consistent with the procedures for Islamic burial, to wit: “(1) the deceased's body was washed and then placed in a white sheet; (2) the body was placed in a weighted bag; (3) a military officer read prepared religious remarks that were translated into Arabic by a native speaker; (4) after the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body eased into the sea from the USS Carl Vinson” (Burton par. 7). As indicated, “according to Islamic teachings, the highest honor to be bestowed on the dead is giving the deceased a swift burial, preferably before sunset” (Burton par. 21). If dead bodies were buried in a grave, the head should be reportedly pointed towards the holy city of Mecca.
The similarities could be deduced in terms of the following prescribed procedures according to what the respective cultural orientations define, including facing strategic locations. There are similarities also with the swiftness of which the deceased is interred into the grave (or sea).  The differences are in the amount of time for preparing the body, with the Assyrian burial allotting more intricacies in ritual than practiced in bin Laden’s sea burial.