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Caro
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PostSubject: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 02:44

I am looking through the British Family History Monthly, which has an interesting article about women being photographed, especially for studio photos, which they said were quite common, even for working class families. Some of the events chosen for commemoration this way were ones that still ensure good photography (even excessive, I would say, in the form of wedding ones), like engagements, marriages, christenings, but others are less likely today, such as coming-of-age ones (though presumably Jewish ceremonies would mean photos and really where I live at least 21sts are still considered worthy of a big deal and lots of informal photos), new jobs, generational ones, and mourning ones.

The article said special mourning attire peaked between the 1860s and 1890s. Books you read of quite a lot earlier than that talk of wearing black for mourning and I know there were rules for the length of time you wore black dependent on the relationship and your age. But surely for some people, many people perhaps, they would never be out of mourning wear. The impression you have from the 18th and 19th century is that people were forever dying, of consumption or childbirth or innumerable childhood illnesses or apoplexy or heart attacks. I don't know if black was so much demanded for working or lower class people, but if the average age of death was the late 20s, as it seems to have been in some communities, surely that means that some baby or child's death would mean you were back in mourning as soon as you were out of it. Was Queen Anne ever seen in anything other than black?

What is your understanding or knowledge of this?

(The only photos of me that could possibly be considered 'studio' or 'formal' are at a school ball, the ones taken at primary school, and some taken with my sister when we were about 2. There were dozens of those little inch square photos of us - I had helpfully put ticks on the ones I liked, apparently, which really improves them. Our wedding photos seem to be just from our poloroid camera or other people's snaps.)
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 07:44

Until child mortality rates started to drop markedly in the latter half of the nineteenth century I doubt that child deaths of maybe one every 6 or 7 years, or so, although devastating to the family concerned, were viewed as worthy of much mourning. For most people it was just part of life, although I daresay wealthier families would be expected to put on more of a show of mourning. Your comment that the average age of death in some communities was the late 20s is of course massively skewed by the high number of infant and young child deaths. Once out of childhood people could reasonably expect to live into their 60s or even older. Quite a few of my ancestors, both male and female, managed to live into their late 70s and 80s during the 19th century. But such was the high rate of infant mortality that I don't think young children were viewed as anything more that "potential people" until they had survived a few years... hence the rather casual, if that is not too harsh a word, way their deaths were viewed and hence their passing mourned.

Regarding photos I have quite a few studio family group photos taken in the 1890s and nearly everyone seems to be wearing very formal black clothes (the photos are of course black & white anyway). But that's just because everyone is wearing their "Sunday best" - sombre dark colours were just the norm for smart dress. My grandparents' wedding photo (1898) shows them similarly smartly dressed in a dark suit with hat (granddad), long dark skirt and white blouse and hat (grandmum)... no flowers, other than on her hat) and no formal wedding attire. When did formal, special wedding dresses come in? And when did white become de rigeur for the dress unless one wanted to cause a scandal? I guess only when people could financially afford to bother about such things.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 08:33

The article I read said working class and some middle-class Victorian brides usually wore their best coloured day dress for their wedding, and "in the early 20th century, bouquets became more common and some brides wore a veil with a coloured dress, while others went the whoe way with a qhite brial gown." It said that by the late-Edwardian era many brides wore white outfits of some description.

I have been looking on a site with old NZ newspapers of around 1895 - 1920 and with one minor exception their dresses are described as cream. Usually cream silk, once cream voile. One was called ivory satin. But ivory is not very different from cream. By my era we differentiated between white and cream - pregnant girls were expected to wear cream, rather than pure white. And you certainly didn't remarry in white (I think even now remarrying in white is considered slightly odd.) One of the newspaper articles said "the bridesmaid was also in white silk," which makes it sound as if perhaps the cream might have been white. Or maybe it was a male reporter - I noticed one quite long wedding account skips over the bride's clothing with "beyond me to describe".

And it was de rigeur to have orange blossoms and a veil - these are often called "the usual veil" or "the usual orange blossoms".

These accounts tended to mention who was there, and the presents that were given, sometimes with a rather distressing lack of privacy. "The bride's grandmother gave them a coloured blanket", and one said the bride gave her husband a gold ring and he gave her a gold chain and watch.

One bride in 1937 was wearing shell-pink.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 08:41

Veils were part of mourning too - as late as 1952 the Queen, the Queen Mother and Queen Mary were all veiled for the funeral of George VI:


http://db3.stb.s-msn.com/i/A8/2F5FE4D286227384A41C85646CF77.jpg
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 08:55



This is me trying to put the photo of my grandparent's wedding in 1919. She is wearing a white, probably three-quarter length dress (she is sitting) with a large bouquet of what looks perhaps like chrysanthemums. Short sleeves on her dress but covered with a lacy veil. Little white slippery shoes and white stockings.

I thought I had followed Nordmann's instructions to the letter (except this photo is from our collection on our computer and not from wikipedia), but it doesn't seem to be here. So what have I done wrong?

Cheers, Caro.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 09:00

You need to have your pics on a site that can be linked by web address. Your own computer won't work.

If you upload them to FlickR or similar you can then display them here via a link.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 09:21

Gosh, there's all sorts of interesting stuff in here, where to start?
Interpreting attitudes to the death of young children in the past is fraught and has been riddled with misconceptions. For a long time it was assumed that because, in the Middle Ages, small children's graves were not marked it indicated a lack of care consequent upon the high infant mortality. Now it is understood that this is probably not the the case and that the absence of grave markers is a result of the belief that these very young children were too young to have sinned and so were not consigned to purgatory. Since grave markers in those days were an aide memoir to elicit prayer to help speed the soul's passage out of purgatory, these sinless infants did not require that service. burial in sanctified ground was sufficient and they tended to be buried together, IIRC, to the west of the church but I'll need to check.
In later Medieval Ireland the Cillin, a burial place for unbaptised babies, developed as a result of the Limbo doctrine. http://elsbetsmirror.com/blog/2012/01/05/cillin-burial-grounds-and-funeral-rites/

As I keep moaning on about, statistics about average life spans in the past tend to be highly misleading, being so skewed by the infant mortality and ignore the fact that, if you survived childhood, you had a good chance of living into your 60s or beyond. Just this week, on Bartlett's 'Medieval Mind' programme, otherwise good, he repeated this misapprehension. And he talked about the a very early age of 'marriage' of the elite as if that was general throughout the population, which it decidedly was not. Sorry, away on a hobby horse there.

Georgian and Victorian death rituals are fascinating and I would commend this to anyone who's interested.
http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/spitalfields_var_2001/overview.cfm The downloads in the archive are crammed with information.
One interesting facet of the Victorian practice is the popularity of post mortem photography, often with the deceased displayed as in life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7B3x0fW6xM
In particular the babies are heartbreaking and destoy any notion of their deaths being anything other than deeply mourned.

I think that's enough for now but, one quick question, when and why did orange blossom become associated with marriage?


Last edited by ferval on Fri 27 Apr 2012, 09:48; edited 1 time in total
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 09:41

Ferval,

I'd never come across post mortem photography before - the photos are a fascinating insight into the way people veiwed death and mourned family members. I have to say I was stumped in a few cases where there is a family group photo particularly where the deceased is an older child or adult, to work which were the living and which the dead. Some of the posed groups seem particluarly gruesome to modern eyes, (particularly the one of the dead brother propped up, eyes half-open, resting his hand on his living sister's shoulder... assuming I've correctly guessed which one was dead), but again that says much about how people viewed and reacted to death.

EDIT:

Black armbands for mourning - when did those go out of fashion? My father, when stationed in newly liberated Belgium in winter of 1944/1945 recalled how nearly every adult male wore a black armband, although that may not have been in mourning for any particular family member but rather as a united symbol of national mourning.


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 27 Apr 2012, 09:53; edited 1 time in total
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 09:49

Well, I've got it onto photobucket but whether I can get it here is another matter. http://s1152.photobucket.com/albums/p481/Caro11D/?action=view¤t=Grandparentswedding.jpg

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Anglo-Norman
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 09:54

I'm given to understand that in the latter part of the 18th century smallswords were made with their hilts decorated in black and/or blue (including jewels in the relevant colours for the seriously rich) specifically for use with mourning dress.

Does anyone know what the Romans wore? My understanding (I can't remember where I read this) was it was white, though I've also heard black. Or were there any rules/conventions at all?
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 10:01

Intriguing isn't it? It raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions, some practical like the procedure for taking the corpse to the photographer's studio and others around attitudes to the body as a material entity.
Death was a huge industry then, not just the undertakers but the manufacturers of the paraphernalia of death and mourning. Danny Miller at UCL has written a lot about modern memorialisation of the dead from an anthropological standpoint that's worth pursuing if you're interested. Photos figure largely of course but we don't go in for the post mortem variety except in the case of still born or very tiny babies where it's becoming standard practice in hospitals. I suppose because most of us have a photographic record of the person in life whereas, in the past, that would probably have been rare.
Another point in passing; those Medieval effigies of the very posh on tombs, most people don't realise that they portray the person at the 'ideal age', that is at 33, Christ's age at death, so that healthy looking knight or pretty lady may well have been old, decrepit or disfigured but since the belief was they would be resurrected at 33, that's how they were depicted.
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 10:25

@ferval wrote:
Intriguing isn't it? It raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions, some practical like the procedure for taking the corpse to the photographer's studio....
... yes I admit that thought occurred to me too.

@ferval wrote:
... we don't go in for the post mortem variety except in the case of still born or very tiny babies...
Actually my mother insisted on my taking a photo of my father while he was lying in his coffin at the undertakers. I obliged her but I admit I never gave the film to Boots to be developed! It might not have been so bad except he had suffered from servere shingles and as a consequence he couldn't close his right eye. The undertaker found it impossible to get the eye to close and so even in death my poor father had a permanent wink, with a fixed glassy one-eyed stare. I thought that would have been just too much for the technicians at the film processing lab.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 11:06

Some graves (pre 1950's possibly) in Australian cemetaries will have small photos of the person on the headstone, and in many cases the photo was taken post mortem. They don't really look that different to the ones of living people, except that their eyes would be closed.

PS Doublful if people carted corpses to a photographers studio though, more than likely the photographer went wherever the departed was prepared for burial, either the house or funeral home.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 11:32

I did find the photos with the families and the dead child a little, well, gruesome, really. One of the comments below said something about it being heartbreaking to hold your dead child, and I recall going to the funeral once of a baby about 11 months old. I was just wondering who the pall-bearers would be when the father picked up the little coffin and carried it out the church. I don't think there was a dry eye in the church.

Sportspeople still wear black armbands - we saw them on our cricketers not long ago and never did work out who they were for.

I had a quick internet check for orange blossoms and a victoriana site said they were a symbol of purity and oranges being prolific flowerers useful. They said the custom came via China through Spain during the Crusades and thence to England in the early 1800s. Seems a long time from the Crusades to the 1800s.

When you read about Americans and death or watch Six Feet Under there is still quite a performance with numerous people going to the undertaker's to view the body and have a chat with everyone else. Any time I have viewed a body there hasn't been anyone else there, but perhaps they have set times or even some sort of advertising. I've never been invited to view anyone other than a close relative. I remember when I was nearly 16 being taken to see my dead father and I didn't really know what to do. I wondered about kissing him, but thought that might look a bit ostentatious. I still don't know what the proper or even natural thing to do is.

We went to a Commonwealth war grave in France and there were about a dozen of them all neat and white and identical in one corner of this huge RC cemetery which was full of floral arrangements and angels and photos and colourful bits. The little town nearby (Noirmoutier) even had shops dedicated to these decorations. Maltese cemeteries had a similar lively look.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 11:58

My great aunt was married in the 20s and, very unusually for a Scottish Protestant, the ceremony took place in the church, largely because her father was the church officer and the family lived in the 'kirk house'. Until relatively recently most weddings here were performed in the manse or in a hall or hotel and church funerals were rare as well, the home or funeral parlour being much more common. Women did not attend the graveside.

I don't know if you can access this http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n58kh but the second half, on modern grave goods is really interesting.

This is an Uzbek gravestone, an interesting technique for etching the photo onto the granite, doesn't it say a lot about him?
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 12:40

On a similar note to your comments, ferval, about modern grave goods... when did the custom become established of leaving bunches of tacky plastic flowers and teddies etc tied to lamp-posts and fences to mark the site of fatal road accidents? I never recall seeing these ad hoc memorials until about 15 or 20 years ago. Now they seem to festoon (not sure that is really the appropriate word) any dangerous road.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 12:51

@Anglo-Norman wrote:

Does anyone know what the Romans wore? My understanding (I can't remember where I read this) was it was white, though I've also heard black. Or were there any rules/conventions at all?

I have no idea about what the Romans wore, but certainly white was the colour of mourning for French queens. One of the most famous pictures of Mary Queen of Scots is the Deuil Blanc portrait of her by Clouet. Mary is here shown in white mourning for her first husband, Francis II.

(Can't make image appear - my computer keeps posting the Three Queens photograph I used earlier. Will try again in a moment.)

Mary had actually horrified everyone by insisting on wearing a white dress for her marriage to Francis. She was warned that wearing white - the traditional colour of mourning - at her *wedding* would be unlucky - a bad omen. And so indeed it proved.

There are still many rules and regulations about gravestones. The Church of England is actually very strict about what is allowed - materials and inscriptions - it's like getting something past English Heritage.

Edit: Just seen your post MM - yes, I too was wondering about the modern roadside "shrines".
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 13:02

Achhhhh, it's so annoying not to be able to attach documents. There's a fair bit of research been done on this as well. For anyone who can access this, here's a nice paper. "Continuing the Tradition: Roadside Memorials in Ireland" from Archaeology Ireland, 19: 1, 26–30
There's long tradition of wayside monuments - for instance, in Iona, there are crosses erected to commemorate places where Columba stopped and remember the Eleanor Crosses from 1290? In Ireland wayside crosses date from the 17thc. The modern custom seems to be a continuation of this practice. Perhaps ID can expand on the custom in Greece.
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 13:12

@Temperance wrote:
Mary had actually horrified everyone by insisting on wearing a white dress for her marriage to Francis. She was warned that wearing white - the traditional colour of mourning - at her *wedding* would be unlucky - a bad omen. And so indeed it proved.

A similar story about Charles I is related. Apparently people were shocked when Charles chose to wear a white suit for his coronation - considered unlucky and a bad omen. This was recalled years later by commentators of a superstitious nature, when - en route to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for his post-execution burial - snow fell, turning the black pall white.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 13:50

This is my maternal grand-parents' "official" wedding photo - February 1901. Smart, but unless you knew you wouldn't say it was a wedding photo (NB granddad is wearing a peeked cap as he was a merchant mariner, ... in every photo of him ever taken, formal or casual, he's always wearing the same cap or one like it!).

I do doubt however whether it was actually taken on their wedding day. The photographer had studios in Brighton and Southsea... but the wedding iself took place in the parish church of St Helen's on the Isle of Wight. So I suspect it was taken shortly after the event... but as it was to commemorate the day one would expect them to be dressed as they were at the marriage... and granny is holding a pair of white gloves which I doubt she ever usually wore.


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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 14:23

@Caro wrote:
...the photo of my grandparent's wedding in 1919. She is wearing a white, .... with a large bouquet of what looks perhaps like chrysanthemums.
As another aside linking both marriage and death... these days in France one would NEVER have a wedding bouquet containing chrysanthemums, and one never gives a bunch of chrysanthemums to your dinner hostess etc. as they are very definitely reserved only for the dead. Come All Saints (1 November) florists, supermarkets, roadside stalls all sell virtually nothing but potted chrysanths to put on the graves of your loved ones.

As one who personally doesn't have much time for all this contemporary French "language of flowers" malarky (I see it's the fête de muguet, ie lily-of-the-valley day, on the 1st May... they are supposed to represent flirtatiousness as well as being the floral symbol for labour day, all in all rather a large burden to place on such a delicate flower)... I find it a great pity that I can't use chrysanthemums in bouquets around the house since as cut flowers they last a lot longer than most other flowers.
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 15:08

If there is one flower I dislike it is chrysanthemums, understandable that they are reserved for the dead. By the by, chrysanthemum is a Greek word (if any are in the mood for trivia lol) chryso means gold and anthe is flower. Chrysanthe (chrisanthee or gold flower) is also a female name.

Back on topic, road side shrines (iconostasis) to commemorate a site of a death are everywhere in Greece, it is also a custom in Italy I believe. They come in all shapes and sizes, but will always include an icon or icons (as the name suggests), a small oil lamp and almost always flowers. They are common in fishing villages too, usually along a bluff overlooking the sea, in memorial to the fishermen who haven't returned.


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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 15:45

Such road side shrines are not uncommon in France. But as they mostly date from the times when the fastest thing to move on the roads in rural France was a horse and cart and so traffic fatalities were rare, they often commemorate WW2 deaths, particularly those of resistance fighters. They usually make their antipathy to the occupiers very clear. There's one in our town says something like: In memory of.... who was put up against this wall and shot by the German invaders... date.

EDIT: Sorry Caro, I've rather drifted off topic.
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 16:57

Does anyone know when the use of funeral homes began? The dead were traditionally "layed out" at home but I can't think when it became the custom for undertakers to prepare the body for burial, instead of the family.

In Greece the family still prepare their departed at home and the hearse collects the body on the way to the church. But, like Moslem countries, the Greeks do not enbalm the dead so a funeral almost always will take place on the day after a death.


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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 17:17

Guessing here but although I do know that in the later Middle Ages the church muscled in and took over from the family in preparing the corpse, no doubt keeping things according to the rules, I suspect that it was during the 18th- 19th centuries when death was commercialised, along with everything else. I'll see what I can find.
Why do the most interesting topics turn up when you're up to your eyes in other things?
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Sat 28 Apr 2012, 04:26

There are some interesting pieces here on the customs of mourning

http://www.sacred-texts.com/etc/mco/ml08.htm

Including this on the various colours worn and their significance

The Mourning Colours of Different Nations are not devoid of meaning. BLACK is the accepted colour throughout Europe. It expresses the solemn midnight gloom, the total deprivation of light and joy on account of the loss sustained. In Shakespeare's time the stage was draped with black during the performance of a tragedy. This accounts for the opening line in his "Henry VI.," "Hung be the heavens with black;" the "heavens" answering to our "borders" and "flies." WHITE is the emblem of Hope, the Chinese colour of mourning. The ladies of Rome and Sparta dressed in white during the period of mourning. Prior to the year 1498, when Anne, queen of Charles VIII., of France, surrounded her coat of arms with black drapery and dressed herself in black on the death of her husband, in opposition to the prevailing custom, widows in England, France, and Spain generally adopted white mourning. Mary, Queen of Scots, received the name of "the White Queen," because she mourned in white for the death of her husband, Lord Darnley. White coffins for children are still popular; while in some parts of the country white hat-bands in mourning for the unmarried are the rule rather than the exception. BLACK AND WHITE STRIPED express Sorrow and Hope. This is the mourning colour of the South Sea Islanders. The ancient Egyptians mourned in yellow, "the sere and yellow leaf." So do the Burmese, whose monastic habit is the same colour. In Brittany widows' caps are invariably yellow. PALE BROWN, the colour of withered leaves, is the Persian mourning colour. The inhabitants of Ethiopia affect GREYISH BROWN, the colour of the earth, to which the dead return. In Syria and Armenia SKY-BLUE is the colour of mourning, indicative of the assurance that the deceased has gone to heaven. PURPLE was formerly the mourning colour of all Christian princes. All the kings of France mourned in purple. Charles II. of England mourned in purple for his brother Henry, Duke of Gloucester, when he died in the year1660. On Good Friday the cardinals, who bear the style of "Princes of the Church," wear purple habits because they are then in mourning for the death of Christ. So, also, on the death of the Pope, or of one of their number. This mourning colour of Christian princes in general, and of the princes of the Roman Catholic Church in particular, has been derived from the purple garment which the Roman soldiers. put about our Lord, and mockingly saluted him as "King of the Jews"
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 12:26

Whereas today it seems anything goes. Just reading a thing about having a medieval themed funeral with jousting etc if you wish. Would be a shame to be the corpse and miss it!
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 14:44

Good grief Nan sounds more like a fun park than a funeral. All this palaver today about a funeral being a celebration of the person's life, bah. Escapist nonsense.
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 15:37

Correct: be realistic, it's an excuse to have a few drinks and catch up with the gossip.
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Tue 01 May 2012, 10:07

Well I am not having a funeral - specified in my will that there will be no religious ceremonies whatsoever. When I am gone will be planted (or ashes whatever really don't care) in a non religious woodland burial area along with, so I am told, the local druids. I really wanted a roman libation tube but that may be a bit difficult!
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Tue 01 May 2012, 23:35

Better too much information about a person's life than not enough. I went to an RC funeral once of a young 24-year-old killed in a car accident, and there wasn't a single mention of her at all. I think her children might have got one small comment or her as a mother. The rest of it was ritualistic. I was quite angry about it.

I know English weddings are more constrained than here, but I don't know about funerals. Almost all the funerals in our town are in the hall (churches not big enough) and they can be quite religious or not at all so. One had a trotting sulky on the stage and I have seen videos where farming predominates. One funeral was held at the person's house and his fishing rods were floated down the river outside the house.

No alcohol at the funerals here (maybe later at the house, but I don't go there) - cups of tea and sandwiches and cakes provided usually by a community group they were involved in. (The hall can have alcohol but you probably need to get a special licence.) Funerals are the main times where I feel a little bit of an outsider in my dear wee town; people come back for them and everyone wants to talk to those people whom I don't know and don't want to foist my presence onto.
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ferval
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Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Wed 02 May 2012, 00:03

I think that the de-formalisation of funerals is a big improvement from the kind that used to be common: the deceased, not having crossed a church door in many years, was sent off by a retired minister who, in exchange for a brown envelope and a free meal, would prattle some generalised platitudes and perhaps some often inaccurate details from the family before the corpse was consigned to the flames or the earth. A ghastly, impersonal and meaningless going through of the motions.
I rather fancy a crouched interment in a stone cist accompanied by the mourners enjoying plenty of mead and a hallucinogen of their choice. A bard reciting my achievements would be appreciated as well although that would be a short poem.
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Nielsen
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Wed 02 May 2012, 04:44

@ferval wrote:
I think that the de-formalisation of funerals is a big improvement from the kind that used to be common: ....
I rather fancy a crouched interment in a stone cist accompanied by the mourners enjoying plenty of mead and a hallucinogen of their choice. A bard reciting my achievements would be appreciated as well although that would be a short poem.

Personally I have requested to be cremated for the following reasons, I have spent so much of my latter days keeping away from un-needed and - by me un-wanted - cold and frost, that I have no wish of lying in some cold soil in a cemetary, slowly rotting away.

Equally I have requested that no-one, ever, puts lights or adornments on my grave. I'd prefer to go in an un-known grave, and just be remembered by those who knew me. Amongst them you, on these boards, who've known of some of my thoughts.

A few words on the graveside on who I was in life, what I did and didn't accomplish.

For those who like that, then a cup of coffee and the local variant of sandwiches - not at the graveside, though.
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Islanddawn
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Join date : 2012-01-05
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PostSubject: Re: Mourning dress   Wed 02 May 2012, 05:29

@Caro wrote:
Better too much information about a person's life than not enough. I went to an RC funeral once of a young 24-year-old killed in a car accident, and there wasn't a single mention of her at all. I think her children might have got one small comment or her as a mother. The rest of it was ritualistic. I was quite angry about it.

Why? It would have been how the family wanted the funeral Caro, families are asked how they would prefer it done or if the departed left any instructions on how they would like to be buried. People react to tragedy in different ways and some are comforted by formal ritual and tradition rather than public breast beating and wailing in the town square. I've been to many RC funerals and each one different from the last.

I don't think I mind how I'm shoved into the ground, or which denomination does or doesn't do it. Funerals are for the living and the dead are past caring. Although I do know that if I get the over sentimental, theatrical (and many times false) tripe that is popular these days I'll rise out of the coffin and tell one and all to cut the crap and get on with it or they'll be haunted for the rest of their days.
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