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By Doris Francis

Burial websites have lengthy been famous as home windows onto prior civilizations, but the meanings of cutting-edge cemeteries were almost missed, even supposing they could show a lot approximately ourselves. during the means of identifying a memorial stone, inscribing it, and tending the grave backyard, viewers type a dynamic own panorama of reminiscence and mourning. The modern cemetery is additionally a spot the place new immigrant groups can toughen staff obstacles and identify a feeling of native land. Exploring the memorial practices of individuals from Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Roman Catholic and Anglican faiths, in addition to the "unchurched," this ebook indicates how the cloth artifacts of mourning show sentiments which are shared, understood, and demonstrated through contributors of the key cemetery group.

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While the law overrules it when necessary, this prohibition is similarly applied by Islam and the Greek Orthodox Church, which also disallow embalming. For the Muslim, interment must take place as quickly as possible, because the soul cannot leave the body until then, and it is thought that the body continues to experience pain up to the point of burial. The separation of body and soul thus starts at burial. Such ideologically based views about the body that inform mortuary practices – the ritual preparation of the body and the rites of burial – are discussed in chapter 3.

Woodgrange Park Cemetery is located in the Manor Park area of the London borough of Newham, on the A13 arterial route, which runs eastwards and out of London from the Whitechapel area. 39 From the mid- to late 1970s, families were reunited as Bangladeshi and Gujarati wives and children arrived. The older, now dependent generation – the parents of the first immigrants – also arrived in the 1980s and continues to do so. Coming from rural communities with few, if any, capital assets, these Bangladeshis and Gujaratis occupy lower socio-economic categories and register low on many indices of health and material well-being, particularly infant mortality.

The United Synagogue’s Willesden and East Ham Cemeteries, the Greek Orthodox section at Hendon Cemetery and St Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery were all sites of additional research. We selected London for study because of its ethnic, religious and socio-economic diversity and its range of cemeteries of varying ages, contrasting landscapes and diverse management styles and structures. Current policy issues with which cemetery owners and managers are faced, particularly those concerning constraints on land available for full-body burial, appear to feature most acutely in the capital,21 but are increasingly reflected regionally and in other metropolitan centres in the United Kingdom.

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