The person who has passed may be cremated and presented for burial in a wooden or clay urn or the corpse may be wrapped in cloth for burial. This way, he or she will quickly decompose and nourish new life. It would be ideal for this person to be buried wrapped in a cloth, instead of a sealed coffin, but there may be laws that make this difficult. Biodegradable coffins are available in some places, and embalming is not always required. All of these options should be looked into.

Process to the burial site, chanting-
“We sailed with you on the river, as long as our path was the same. But be not afraid though it swept you away, we will meet again in the sea.”

Or something else appropriate.

Upon reaching the gravesite, establish your sacred space as normal, or as in the Departing ceremony.

Priest(ess)- “We welcome the spirits of our ancestors and the honored dead not yet reborn. We invite you to witness as we commend [name] to the Earth and ask that you accept him/her into your number.”

The body is lowered into the earth.

Priest(ess)- “All material beings come from the Earth, and to the Earth we must return in time. ”

Coins are tossed into the grave.

“Coins for the ferryman, may he see you safely to the shores of Hades and the arms of our ancestors.”

A candle is tossed into the grave, or placed on it.

“For your journey friend, may it light your way.”

At this time, other mourners should step forward with their own offerings and words of farewell.

Close the circle and return in silence to the feast.

Some chants I have found that are appropriate for the procession to the burial place.

See also The Pagan Book of Living and Dying by Starhawk and M. Macha Nightmare

Liked it? Take a second to support Morningbird on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!