LONDON — Jimmy Armfield, a former England captain who led Leeds to the European Cup final as a manager before a distinguished career in broadcasting, has died. He was...
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A funeral procession is the ceremonial journey from the funeral home or church to the deceased's final place of rest — usually a cemetery. The procession involves transportation of the body, which is usually carried in a hearse.
The hearse typically heads a funeral procession, setting the speed and tone of the journey. Next often follows is a limousine or town car, followed by mourning guests in their respective vehicles.
Funerals come in all forms, and there are no strict rules about who rides in a funeral procession limo, nor any law that states there can only be one. However, the laws of etiquette do apply to mourning rituals, and cultural rites of all varieties.
Traditionally, the immediate family of the deceased rides in the limo or town car. A funeral limousine offers those who are in the deepest throes of the grief to focus on their lost loved one, rather than the road, other drivers, and making it to the service on time. There is also a sense of respect and decorum for the immediate family that is afforded by a limo ride.
In many families, 'immediate family' now means 'closest loved ones'. Best friends, close cousins, and other members of the deceased's 'chosen family' now have a place in formal funeral arrangements, which may include the funeral limousine.
In general, those who handled the funeral arrangements themselves are the ones who take the place of honor in the limo.
There is usually a hierarchy of grief when a member of any community passes away. Though the idea that some grievers are 'more important' than others may seem backwards when everyone experiences grief differently, these cultural practices are part of mourning. If a family in mourning uses a limo for immediate family members in a funeral procession, respect their wishes.
In the bigger picture of grief, this formality hardly matters. What does matter is that all who mourn have the chance to collectively remember the person who has passed, and begin individual journeys toward healing.
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