Thinking Ahead: Your Orthodox Funeral

“Death is something that awaits all of us and yet we often wish to avoid thinking about it. As Christians, we understand earthly death as a gateway to life eternal. Preparing ourselves spiritually and making practical arrangements in advance for our funeral is very important. Here is some practical information about Orthodox rites and funeral planning.” This information on thinking ahead about your funeral and burial is from the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America.

The pic? From Ark Wood Caskets, a company in Ashland, Oregon which makes simple pine caskets certified by a rabbi as appropriate for a Jewish burial. They aren’t just for Jews, though; here’s a quote from the owner, Paul Firnstein: “A lot of my business is from different religious groups and others that want the same kind of casket,” he said. “Franciscan monasteries back East want a simple pine casket. Many American Indian families and Buddhists or Muslims also want simple caskets that go into the ground in an easy way.”

If anyone knows of a company closer to Portland, Oregon, that supplies very simple pine caskets, please let me know? I’m in the market.


6 thoughts on “Thinking Ahead: Your Orthodox Funeral

  1. Kristin,

    Thanks for this info. The subject came up this week with my hubby, and I must confess, we were befuddled as to what we will do when the time comes. I’m an Orthodox newbie, he is not. You gave a great starting place to explore.


  2. I talked to my priest. He told me to get a will made and say explicitly therein that I want an Orthodox Christian burial — and NO CREMATION. This is good, as I am not certain my (non-Orthodox) family will follow my wishes after my death. This will help, I suppose. I hope.

  3. Thanks for the infor Kristin. Petros wants a plain casket, and not to be embalmed.
    There are some Orthodox monks in California that make plain caskets.
    It was great meeting your husband!!

  4. Kristin – this is a favorite topic of mine. Birth and death in our culture have been handed over to “the professionals,” and I don’t like it.
    I was able to birth my 4 children at home — I’d like to exit this world in the same simple way.
    In my state, one doesn’t have to be embalmed if one is buried in the first 24 hours. My husband and I both want to avoid the whole funeral home scene — just load us up in the back of the pick up for the drive to the cemetery.

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