Burying the Dead in the 26th Century
How do remember, bury our dead in the 26th Century?
New Worlds Staff, 506.13.02 @ 06:00
There is a strong division within the Rosebourg Monarchy with regards to the means and methods used to remember the dead and to dispose of the remaining elements of the body. Here, it is important to make a distinction between the Navak burial methods, and the Avran cremation methods. There is also a separate tradition amongst the military, as well yet another tradition amongst the royalty and the nobility of the Monarchy.
Traditional Navak burial methods are fairly simple but take place over a number of days. The burial ceremony lasts 9 Beta Hydraean days. The 9 Beta Hydraean days are divided in three periods which related the different lines of a triangle - the triangle being a very symbolic geometric shape for Navaks denoting good luck and blessings. The first period is a period of mourning, where the family and closed friends unite together in silence. They must meditate upon the passage of their loved one. The second period is a period of obligation, where the family, friends, and the wider community unite together and complete the various religious traditions (which vary depending on one's religious denomination). Generally, during the first day the person's body is displayed and anyone can pay their respects, the second day is allotted to a religious mass, and the third day is the burial which takes place under strict religious guidelines. The last period is a three day celebration where the family and closed friends reenact the life of their loved one through stories, songs, and theater.
Traditional Avran burial methods are quite different and much more rapid, burial ceremonies must be completed within a week of the person's passing otherwise the family will be cursed for a seven Avran year period. Usually the ceremony lasts three days, the first day the Avran's direct family howls and mourn the passing of their relative, whilst on the second day the dead is embalmed according to the religious traditions of the family. On the third day, usually on the square of their community, the Avran is cremated for all to see. A period of silent reflection then ensues usually lasting no more than a day.
There is also a separate tradition for those who are members of the Rosebourg military. For each sector of the military, the first element of the burial ceremony is the honorary guard, which is then followed up by a number of speeches from the officer's colleagues who speak of the accomplishments of the officer. The honorary guard and the speeches is then usually followed by the presentation of the officer's direct family who are handed over the officer's weapons as a sign of the recognition of the State for the officer's efforts. Depending on the sector of service, the body is then disposed of either through cremation or burial. The military burial can, upon the request of the family, be combined with traditional burial methods or can be done away with entirely though this is not very common.
The most complicated burial ceremony is reserved for the royal family. The burial ceremony is very similar to the traditional Beta Hydraean burial method but the ceremony is prolonged in deference to the position of the individual. Each part of the burial ceremony is prolonged so that the entire ceremony takes 18 days instead of 9. The prolongation is supposed to represent blessings for the individual and blessings for their position in the royal family.
When a Dividian dies, loved ones and friends perform a ritual known as the Faxel Korst. a feast with special foods prepared for the rememberance of the dead. Those who eat, must reflect on the lives of those passing to the other realm and allow them to taste the meal through their lips and take nourishment for strength to continue their journey to find The Great Visiers. It is believed, the more people eat during faxel korst, the further it will take their beloved deceased on their journey and it is extremely good luck to finish every morsel of food prepared, but not always able to be done. Several faxel korsts can go on simultaniously for the same person or people, that is also good luck for the spirits of the dead.
After the meal, loved ones spend the next few hours (six hours at minimum) in quiet meditation. Foucusing on the journey of the deceased and seeing to their journey through their efforts.
Sample of text describing character's performing a faxel korst: 'They said the proper chants before the meal and Avrielle remained calm until halfway through the feast when she imagined the food she ate going down the throat of each of the children. She hoped they were enjoying the feast. When she imagined how much of life they would no longer enjoy, including lovely feasts, she broke down into tears, leaning on the table as she cried. Talisans put his arms around her and whispered to Avrielle comforting images of the children playing with all the animals in the Visier of Conservation's Garden of Lost Plants and Animals. He assured her they would be happier in the next realm. She was grateful for Talisan's words and warmth. Composed once more, she sat up straighter and took another bite of the grandeil souffle. It would be a good energy source for the children's play in the other realm. She imagined the boys chasing a winged carpaitian and the little girl cuddling with a sheeven wolf pup. In the Visier's Garden. The animals, even those that were once fierce hunters, would never hurt the children. '
The body of the deceased is bathed in special perfumed oils and covered in the traditional Dividian talcum powders, but a funeral powder is even more irredescent and shimmery than a normal one a Dividian would wear daily. The bodies are left nude as it is considered a most holy and natural state.
Only one loved one is allowed to view the body, carrying a scroll with messages from friends and family written on it. The scroll is placed in the hands of the deceased by the chosen loved one and then the body is gently placed over a funeral pyre and cremated. The ashes are later collected and spread before a holy place chosen by the deceased or the deceased's family (usually the deceased favorite temple). Note* New Outlook, on Faith's Heart - A retirement community where many elderly Dividians live out their days.
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