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Christians value them babies receive them, along with a cross, at their christening.
Thus, it symbolizes a person’s commitment to Christianity.
It can be reversible, and it sometimes resides outside of the body. It is believed that when one sleeps one can traverse the “other world” and come back alive. A person who dies in his or her old age surrounded by family died a “good” death, a death that was “their own.” They depart when God says they should.
A person who dies a “bad” death, or a death “not their own,” died too soon before the time God assigned them.
Russians associate “good” deaths with bringing good harvests while attributing storms, droughts and other forms of destruction to “bad” deaths.
Several steps must be taken once a person has died so their body can be buried and their soul can travel to the “other world.” The first step is washing the body.
Christianity supported marriage and child-bearing, but it did not support the pursuit of pleasures of the flesh.
At the funeral, a priest performs the “seeing off” ceremony, praying over the body and allowing mourners to throw dirt on the grave, symbolically incorporating the corpse into the earth.The priest then places a paper crown on the head of the deceased and the mourners throw soil and coins into the grave (the coins are either to pay for transit to the “other world” or for the space in the cemetery).After the funeral, mourners sing laments depicting the deceased leaving his or her family and the soul departing from the body.For men the usual aim was sex, but for women it could have been to get married, exact revenge, or regain a husband’s affection.There are many interpretations of death in Russian folk tradition.
In a Dual-Faith setting (in which Orthodoxy and folk tradition are combined) this ritual prepares the deceased’s for his or her meeting with God.