The Quest for a Proper Burial: How My Family Buried Their Dead

Wiebe, Katie Funk
January 2007
Journal of Mennonite Studies;2007, Vol. 25, p215
Academic Journal
The author describes the practice of her Mennonite extended family in Imperial Russia on burying their dead. Details given by Neta Janzen Block on the burial of her mother revealed that there was no embalming and the body was taken to a neighbor's cellar to keep it cool. Taking of photographs of family members by the open coffin as well as covering the grave with boards and a little dirt on the burial ground were also customary practices. In Kronstal, Ukraine, four family members died of typhus. Traditional burial patterns involved the washing of dead bodies to delay decay and laying them on boards in an unheated room. There was a graveside service before the coffins were transported to the graveyard on a wagon. There was no meal before the burial and no church service.


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