Egyptian Funerary Practices

945 words 4 pages
Egyptian Funerary Practices

Ancient Egyptian civilization was based on religion. Their belief in the rebirth after death became their driving force behind their funeral practices. Death was simply a temporary interruption, rather than an end to life, and that eternal life could be ensured by means of worship to the gods, preservation of the physical form thru mummification, substantial ceremonies and detailed burial policies and procedures. Even though many today have varying views of an afterlife, many of the funerary practices that originated in Egypt can be seen in present day funeral services.

The Egyptians believed that the human soul used the first night after death to travel into the afterlife. The body, which the
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“Among the Egyptians of the Dynastic Period the presentation of offerings to the dead was regarded as one of the chief duties in life of a religious man.”(Liturgy of Funerary Offerings, pg.4). Egyptians believed that the offerings left at the burial tomb would assist or help their family or friends survive in the Other World. The belief lived with them for thousands of years. “The Egyptians loved life so much they tried to take it with them to the grave and beyond.”(Egypt:Land of the Pharaohs, pg.12). In our times, we too have a tradition of burying our dead with affectionate items that the person enjoyed or reminded us of that person. It may not have been food or war chest items to protect and serve us in an afterlife, but an old hat, a cane, golf clubs or a shotgun. An item that tells a story and gives us memories of the person that we burying. The Egyptians did this out of love for their family and we do the same.

Over the passage of time there are many things that differ from the practices of the Ancient Egyptians from the practices of today. We do not remove organs, lay the body out to dry for weeks at a time, hire professional mourners or carry sustenance to the gravesite. But the more you study and read about this time period and reflect on their practices, the more and more practices you see that we have in common. We have laws and procedures dealing with dead, licensed directors overseeing the preservation


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