How Other Cultures Commemorate Loss and Celebrate Life

When a loved one dies, planning their funeral is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate their life, passions, accomplishments, and cultural traditions. At Cypress Lawn, our staff is experienced in helping families honor their cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs with meaningful services. Our licensed funeral directors recognize the diversity of the Bay Area and strive to meet the needs of our unique community, one family at a time.

Here is how several cultures in our community commemorate loss and celebrate life:


Latin American celebrations of life

Many Latin American families hold a full Catholic funeral Mass and burial in a Catholic cemetery following the wake. It’s common for families to honor their loved ones with a visitation featuring an open casket. Candles and flowers are often used to decorate the space, and traditional Latin American pastries and coffee are laid out for guests to enjoy. Many families photograph their loved one in the casket as a way to remember this significant life event. Immediate and extended family and even close friends are heavily involved in the funeral rites of Latin American families.


Chinese funeral practices

Chinese funeral rites vary based on a person’s social or marital status and age. In Chinese culture, much emphasis is placed on finding the perfect final resting place. It’s believed that the grave’s location impacts the entire family’s chi or life force. Close family and friends attend the wake, which begins every funeral service in the Chinese community. This visitation period lasts up to a week and usually takes place within the family home or at a local temple.


Muslim funeral rites

 Muslim funerals and burials occur as soon as possible following a loved one’s death. Adult family members begin a cleansing process before wrapping a white cloth around the body. Burial happens within three days, and the mourning period lasts about three days following the funeral. The funeral ceremony is usually held in a mosque and involves recitations from the Quran and other sacred Muslim texts.


Whether you choose burial or cremation for your loved one, whether you’re interested in a traditional cultural service or something more unique, our compassionate team is ready to answer your questions and provide more information and guidance if needed. Contact us anytime 24/7. We are committed to serving you and your family with high-quality care.