At the Cemetery
What is the procedure at the cemetery?
The burial in the ground, k’vurah b’karka, is the most important part of the funeral. Therefore, everyone who is able should make every effort to “accompany the deceased” (levayah) to the cemetery. Upon arrival at the cemetery and filing the papers at the office, the procession will continue to the gravesite, where the casket is carried to the grave, accompanied by the family and friends. After lowering the casket, it is then appropriate for all present to participate in the actual burial by shoveling earth into the grave, as it is the primary responsibility of the family and the community. As different Rabbis have differing standards and procedures they follow, please take direction from the Rabbi. After the appropriate prayers have been recited, friends and family traditionally form two lines, facing each other, so the immediate mourners may walk between them to hear the first words of comfort after the burial, “ha-makom y’nachem etchem b’toch sh’ar aveilei tzion vi-rushalayim.”
How long does it take?
The service at the cemetery, depending upon which prayers need to be recited and how much of the grave is to be filled in, could take from 15-45 minutes.
Should children come to the cemetery?
As noted above, children usually deal quite well with the entire funeral experience. If it is age-appropriate and maturity-appropriate for your child, there is nothing wrong with bringing them.