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The funeral usually includes a ritual through which the corpse of the deceased is given up.Depending on culture and religion, these can involve either the destruction of the body (for example, by cremation or sky burial) or its preservation (for example, by mummification or interment).Differing beliefs about cleanliness and the relationship between body and soul are reflected in funerary practices.When a funerary ceremony is performed but the body of the deceased is not available, it is usually called a memorial service or celebration of life.The soul (Atman, Brahman) is believed to be the immortal essence that is released at the Antyeshti ritual, but both the body and the universe are vehicles and transitory in various schools of Hinduism.They consist of five elements: air, water, fire, earth and space.Jewish religious laws such as halakha call for burial of the body, preceded by a basic ritual involving bathing and shrouding the body, accompanied by prayers and readings from the Torah.Cremation of the body is forbidden in Orthodox Judaism, but allowed in Reform Judaism.
When thou hast made him ready, all possessing Fire, then do thou give him over to the Fathers, When he attains unto the life that waits him, he shall become subject to the will of gods.
In life a Sikh is expected to constantly remember death so that he or she may be sufficiently prayerful, detached and righteous to break the cycle of birth and death and return to God.
The public display of grief by wailing or crying out loud at the funeral (called Antam Sanskar in the Sikh culture) is discouraged and should be kept to a minimum.
Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, and offering support and sympathy to the bereaved.
Additionally, funerals often have religious aspects which are intended to help the soul of the deceased reach the afterlife, resurrection or reincarnation.
Christian burials typically occur on consecrated ground.