School: Loughill

Ballymunterhiggin, Co. Donegal
Eibhlis Ní Mhathghamhna

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Customs at Wakes and Funerals

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 1026, Page 135

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When a person dies all clocks are stopped and are not wound again until the corpse leaves the house. Anyone going to a wake should bring a pipe full of tobacco home. Tobacco is supplied for the man and snuff for the women. It is considered unlucky to leave a corpse alone, one should always have company. If a corpse is not quite stiff when being put in the coffin it is supposed to be a sign that another death will take place in the family before long. The person who washes and lays out a person should coffin him. It is unlucky to bring a coffin across the kitchen floor. If the bed where the corpse was waked is at the back wall the coffin should be brought out by the back door, and if near the front wall it should be taking out by the front door. The “feet end” of the coffin should come out first

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