Hey all, I'm writing a fic with a funeral in it, and seeing as I've never been to one, I need help
How would wizard funerals differ from Muggle ones? We've seen Dumbledore's in HBP, but I'm wondering if others would be different.
And could someone explain the general idea of the process? I don't want to start a morbid thread, but I think this is easier than looking it up.
I think it would be much more... well, it would be an even more big deal than a muggle death, for it is a wizard. Does that make sense? More people would be there, it would be a much more prominent process. SO take a muggle one and multiply it by ten.
The usual process is the following:
Usually there is an hour or so in the church before the actual burrial, where someone would make a dedicated speech representing what the person meant to them and the rest of the people they had touched. It would tlak about accomplishments, good deeds, morals they had, their personality... etc.
Then there is ther burial, which is just alot of prayer beside where they are to burry them. Flowers are placed on the coffin and grave. Loved ones are asked to sit the closest to the deceased, and most of the time, people mourn for not only the death, but the family who the deceased left behind.
Also, the day before the funeral, there is often a visitation where people come to view the deceased and mourn among the others without an acutal speech or prayer going on. It's just a come, mourn, and leave thing.
This is how it goes for all the ones I've been at, but it can very.
Obviously, funerals are a very solemn affair. Which ever way your story goes, that's important ("No, Arianna, that wasn't obvious!").
I have about zero free time (I've been taking a bit of a break from all the "must do" to just post in some help threads ) but if you don't have a copy of HBP I could do this for you. My best advice is that you reread the chapter of Dumbly's funeral over a few times and concentrate on what Harry thinks is too spectacular for a wizard with lesser standing that Dumbly. I know that he mentions how a few things are extravogant and probably aren't the usual procedings for a wizards funeral.
Other than that, I'd just go with the normal funeral scene (II explained it pretty well); just make sure that you make a few things magical where magic is needed. Harry may have dug Dobby's grave by hand, but that was just Harry being Harry. A wizard would probably want to be laid to rest by magic - the dirt would be dug by magic and put back by magic. Instead of a coroner (sp) or whoever tidies the body up, it would probably done by a spell.
There is only one thing I'd look in to - whether there are prayers said or not. Obviously it is the people of faith who pray to their Gods at funerals; asking whatever for what have you (agnostic meself, so I don't know). There would of course be a eugology given by the closest of friends, but I'd leave the spiritual prayers out. ("No, Arianna, that wasn't pretty obvious either...")
Any specifics you need help with?
Thank you, A.H. and Ironic Inspiration! I'll be sure to keep all of this in mind.
The character who is deceased is Lucius Malfoy, if that helps anyone else posting- I always imagined his funeral as large with loads of relatives and such, but I'd like to hear some more feedback
Well, I've only been to Catholic funerals and wakes and other such things like that, but I've been to a few of them so I hope that this helps!
Before the funeral there usually is a very small gathering at the funeral home with those closet to the deceased. Sometimes they place flowers or keepsakes or treasured momentos into the coffin. Then the coffin is taken to the church where the priest will bless the coffin and body in the back of the church using holy water. Then the pallbearers take the coffin up to the front of the church. What happens next will vary. Usually, family members will go up and speak or if it's a small funeral all the people will gather together at the altar and talk about the life of the person and have a small mini wake. If it's a very large crowd then a normal mass with Eucharist is said and during the homily people go up and speak. At the end of mass before the rites are concluded, the priest will bless the coffin again with incense and holy water. Then the coffin is taken to the cemetery and lowered into the ground. There is a usually a psalm said by the priest or those attending will sing or mourn in their own way.
As for Lucius Malfoy, I'm guessing that his funeral would be a pretty big affair depending on his standing grace with the Ministry and the wizarding world. If they don't know if he's a DE, then there would be tons of people there. If I had to write a funeral scene for Lucius Malfoy I would first have a small wake or remembrance with the family at the wizarding funeral home or whatever and then the next day would be the actual burial at the cemetery. I wouldn't have a church scene because including religion in fan fic is risky because religion is something that JK purposely kept out of the books, and nowhere in the books does it mention the Malfoys going to church. It would be something akin to Dumbledore's burial except minus the phoenix but plus a huge posh reception at Malfoy manor afterwards hosted by Narcissa. I hate to say it, but I feel that it would be turned more into a social affair than one of mourning. Maybe a few would mourn, but Narcissa would turn this into a social affair I feel.
Since I attended (and worked) on a few funerals I can tell you my experiences:
-First I would put an announcement in news papers that that person is desist, because it will spear the trouble to notify all the people. Of course to the relatives and close friends I would send a letter or a messenger.
- Friends and family in this days are usually around for the family so that means that for the few days before the ceremony the Malfoy house will be fill with people who are close to them.
- the ceremony something like Dumbledorīs with a few words from friends and relatives.
- for the funeral is the usual flowers and candles (candles at least in my country), maybe close friends carrying his coffin to the grave and some mourning music (this of course depends where the ceremony is hold).
I believe that Narcissa would keep it simple. A small ceremony, with relatives and close friends, and after that a refreshment in they house.
I think you should include some albino peacocks. Peacocks might seem showy and too cheerful, but albino ones would be more solemn I think.
Since the Malfoys are wealthy, some extravagant stuff is realistic. Maybe they would hire a string quartet?
I'm not sure there would be loads of relatives, at least not from Narcissa's side. The Black Family Tree is pretty sparse.