Funeral Rites

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The Traditional Funeral Rites cover a period of 13 months from the moment of death.

Within the Tradition the soul knows its moment of departure from the body and I may be called prior to this to support the soul in the commencing of its journey to the shores of Bhás and beyond.

Within the tradition of The Tribe, death is a process of continuing journey, a setting down of one thing and a gathering up of another thing.

The Funerary Rites are designed for two shared journeys;

  • The soul of the deceased
  • The soul(s) of the grievers

The Tradition tells that the deceased and the griever(s) undertake a shared journey through Bhás, one in presence, one in reflection, and that in that shared journey, both reflect each others processes and setting down of attachments, so that both can undertake the gathering of the new journey without impact from or on each other.

The Traditional journey of the soul across Tír Na Marbh (Land of Death) follows these stages:

  • Passing to the shores of Bhás (the Land of the Dead) – dying
  • Crossing Tír Na Bhás (the 13 moon Journey of Grieving) – grieving
  • Surrendering in Tír Na Diochuimhne (Land of Forgetfulness) – memorial
  • Reception of Tír Na Frìnn (Land of Truth) – honouring


It is my commitment to take deep and personal responsibility primarily for the dead and secondarily for the grievers, acting as a ‘bridge’ between Tir Na Bhas and Tir Na An Aisling (land of The dream; life).

As such it is my role to be fully present as a meeting place between the living and the dead at both an emotional and a spiritual level.

It is a requirement of the Traditional Way that all funerary rites take place with the body or the remains of the deceased; compassionate consideration is given to this in certain modes of death.

Families may select not to undertake all the prescribed ceremonies and rituals. In these cases the I take personal care to works with the family in supporting the soul in its journey, which may not be sacramentally celebrated in public ceremony and selecting the most appropriate rituals for the needs and abilities of the grievers, and in accordance with their specific requirements.

In addition to Tribal Traditional rituals, Sagh’ic Tire Dhream can undertake separately or as part of the funeral;

  • Posadh da Marbh (Marriage of the Dead); please ask me about this is if pertains
  • Sin Eating – an unburdening of the soul after death

The individual ceremonies follow as parts of the complete Funerary Rite. Some may sound strange or uncommon, the essences of all the funeral rites are of patience, love and peaceful unburdening. My role would be to sit and explain, guide and reflect on which, why and how these rites would be appropriate and tailored in line with each family.

The Rites and Ceremonies

Passing to the shores of Bhás (the Land of the Dead)

  • Treoir Báis; Preparation for death
  • Dul chun Báis; The death
  • Cnàimh Ionladh; Bone washing
  • Ithe Pheaca; Sin Eating

Crossing Tír Na Bhás (the 13 moon Journey of Grieving)

  • Ag fanacht ar an marbh; Passing time; Ungathering
  • Caointe; Keening
  • The committal of the dead
  • Cnàimh Gibeagachadh ; Bone Bundles
  • 13 Keenings
  • Chéim Dheireanach – Sometimes called “Bróga Caite” (Last step or shoes)
  • Posadh da Marbh

Surrendering in Tír Na Diochuimhne (Land of Forgetfulness)

  • Dìochuimhnicheadh; Remembering to forget
  • Cealeabhair ; Farewell

Reception of Tír Na Frìnn (Land of Truth)

  • Transition of the dead to Ancestors

Additional Rites

  • Stillbirth
  • Exhumation
  • Beathach Pràmh – pets
  • Loss Boat – support of grief

They can each be used on their own, as the entire Rite, or selected to form a personalized Rite.