Every culture has their own traditions when it comes to funeral services for loved ones. This is especially true with Hispanic or Latino cultures. These traditions and customs can vary from family-to-family and are often influenced by their home country or religion. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population accounts for about 18% of the population and they are considered the largest minority group in the United States. It is important that funeral professionals are familiar with these traditions so they can be accommodating and understanding.
Hispanic Funeral Traditions
Hispanic family ties are very strong. When news spreads about a loved one falling ill or dying family members come from near and far to support them. Since Hispanic family bonds are so strong, they often rely on a family member to care for a loved one when they are ill rather than allowing them to go to a hospice or hiring someone to care for them. It is not uncommon for family members to want to continue to take care of their loved one even after they are dead.
Not all, but many Hispanic families are Catholic and their beliefs influence the way they view death. The Roman Catholic church believes that souls are eternal and continue to live on even after the body has died. Although a funeral is a somber event it is also a celebration of life. You can often hear family members laughing and sharing stories about the deceased. They bring gifts, rosaries, and prayer cards to put in the casket for the deceased to take to the afterlife. The Virgin Mary is a prominent representation of their religion. You may see statues or other items adorning this religious symbol. Hispanic families believe that their loved one’s spirit lives on and they continue to be a part of the family and celebrated often.
Traditional Hispanic rituals can vary widely. Some traditions within the Puerto Rican community will differ from those within the Mexican or Cuban community. It is important that a funeral professional listen and invite the family to be involved with the arrangements. Not all Hispanics speak Spanish, but it is helpful if the funeral home has bilingual staff. This helps to break down some cultural barriers.
John F. Fluehr’s family has been serving the funeral needs of the public for 121 years. The homelike atmosphere of our beautiful funeral home offers a spacious stateroom, handsome details and provides comfort and dignity for the bereaved. Please call us at 215-624-5150 or visit our website for more information on our services. Sí, hablamos español!