Wednesday, September 1, 2010

9/1 - African Funeral

Today, I went to my first African funeral. All of us filed into the church and we shook hands with a man at the doors. We stood in the back of the church during the service. There was reading from the Bible and prayers were said. Some songs were sung in Tonga, also. I noticed that most of the men were standing outside of the church building so that the women could have a seat inside out of the sun. After the songs were sung and prayers were said inside, we lined up and looked inside the casket and then went outside. Once outside, some more songs were sung in Tonga and the casket was laid into the ground. The family shoveled or threw dirt into the grave and once all of the family had a chance to help put dirt in, some men shoveled the rest in. Then they laid some cement on top of the dirt and then put another layer of dirt down. After all of these layers, the men packed the dirt down. At this point, the family, friends, relatives, and anyone else who wanted to, came and put flowers over the grave. The whole grave was covered in flowers by the end. After the flowers were laid down, speeches about Mrs. Moonga were given. The speeches talked about how she was a very "clean" woman and very loving. She was very dedicated to God and was a member of the Kalamo Church of Christ. They spoke alot about her life and how influential she was. After the speeches were completed, a final prayer was said. The family then hosts everyone at their house, the "funeral house", and provides the guests with means and refreshments.

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