The religious influences in funerary practices in the Parish of Sheffield 1843 to the present
This study aims to investigate the relationship between funerary rituals and religion in the Parish of Sheffield in order to shed light on present day customs and practices. In the past, most studies have attempted to relate religion and ritual from the base of changing belief systems; this present investigation analyses the means whereby the secular nature of funerary customs is brought into a vital relationship with the sacred by the rites of passage of death, and their associated myths and legends. The study is divided into three principal areas of research covering pertinent general and specific aspects of funerary rituals. The first section sets the central core of the research upon a more general foundation of relevant literature, and an overview of funerary rituals and religion. A resume of the history of Sheffield and the laws of burial and cremation then places the study into both a wider and a comparative context of time and place. The research then centres on a study of current funeral practices in Sheffield: the Sheffield funeral trade; the influences of religion upon death rituals in relation to the city; the people of Sheffield who experience these funerals, and the places of committal available to them. The research draws on its primary database of 67 respondents from representative religions, complemented by selective databases covering non-specific mourners, religious representatives, and associated trades, services and professions.