School: Béal Dearg (roll number 11582)

Belderg More, Co. Mayo
Pádraig Mac Conghamhna

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Wakes and Funerals

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0139, Page 425

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The people who lay out a corpse or help to put it "overboard" must also coffin it. As for as possible a number of the same name must carry the coffin out of the house. It must be taken out the back door - that is the door facing west or south. The stools it rests on are thrown in together when the coffin is raised off them. When kissing the corpse in the coffin the family are warned against letting a tear fall on the dead person. If a corpse does not get cold in a hurry after death it is believed to be a sign that some other member of the family will die soon after. If a cat should happen to cross a corpse he is drowned - else the next person he crosses will die.
Pipes and tobacco are distributed at wakes and any pipes left over are taken to the graveyard and left on the fence When the person is buried the members of the family walk three times across the grave "to leave their sorrow behind."

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