Episode #138 – Exploring Cultural Funeral Traditions


valerie martellHave you ever attended a funeral that was different than what you’ve come to expect? Will your service incorporate traditions from your family’s culture? Cultural traditions preserve our family history and shape our personal identity, from the day we are born until time for our funeral.

Different cultures have different traditions for creating memorial services for their loved ones lost. Are you aware of the various cultural funeral traditions that exist in Vancouver?

If you want to know more about cultural funeral traditions, then listen to this episode of Forever in their Hearts, where host Erik Reynolds talks with Valerie Martell, Director of Operations for Martin Brothers Funeral Services about the topic based on her first-hand knowledge.

Funerals allow us to pay our respects to a loved one who has passed away. This podcast is an opportunity to learn how different cultures memorialize their departed family and friends.

When You Aren’t Sure What to Do Next at a Funeral

Valerie kicks off the episode by addressing what the best thing to do is if you’re attending a funeral service but do not know about the specific traditions.

Next Valerie offers a suggestion for those whose beliefs are compromised by a tradition, or are unsure how to respond to funeral rituals that offer an opportunity to participate in a tradition.

When attending a funeral, it is important to remember that you are there to pay your respects to the deceased. Can you see how making this a priority can help at this type of service?

Interesting Cultural Funeral Traditions

Then Valerie talks about some interesting ways that certain religions or cultures conduct funerals. During this episode she addresses questions like:

  • Do interesting traditions take place within North America?
  • What are “grave goods” and does this practice happen in Canada?
  • Are coffins shaped pretty much the same in all parts of the world?

Now ask yourself these two things: Do I plan to request cultural funeral traditions? Am I ready to save my family the hassle of trying to guess what I want at my service? If you answered “Yes” to either or both of these questions, then it’s time to visit Martin Brothers’ website, listed below.

Altering Funeral Traditions from Other Cultures

Next you’ll hear Valerie share how funeral traditions might be altered if a family decides they wish to add something that is not customary to the memorial service or funeral.

Some traditions have remained the same over generations. Valerie offers a suggestion about how to honor these timeworn traditions while incorporating non-traditional aspects.

Martin Brothers has a long history of helping families in the Greater Vancouver area plan funerals that respect a family’s wishes and traditions.

The episode concludes with Valerie sharing the one thing she wants to drive home to listeners who may feel unsure about attending a service with cultural funeral traditions.

What Customs Have You Experienced at Funerals?

Have you ever witnessed interesting funeral or memorial traditions? Do you plan to include your culture’s or family’s traditions in your service? Listen to the entire podcast now and then leave your questions and personal experiences below so we can discuss them with you.

Martin Brothers Funeral Services has more than 100 years of experience in providing thoughtful, dedicated services to families dealing with loss. If you are ready to take care of funeral pre-arrangements, have additional questions about their services, or are dealing with a loss, please contact them at their Vancouver office.

Martin Brothers Funeral Services

Vancouver: Funeral Services Centre
3398 Dunbar Street
Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 2C1

Telephone Number: 778.330.7799
Toll Free Number: 1.800.382.2901
Fax Number: 778.330.7633



Martin Brothers Funeral Services provides caring, dedicated and thoughtful service to families dealing with the loss of a loved one. We have four generations of funeral services experience and are here to guide you through all of the details, large and small, and always take the time to understand what is important to you and your family in your time of need. We have over 100 years of experience in funeral services and we are a funeral home in Vancouver who gives you affordable funeral services, funeral pre planning, cremation and burial services. We will make sure all of yours and your family's needs are met, and will be a guide in your time of need to ensure that your loved one lost is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Martin Brothers is here in your time of need, call today.

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