DOES THE PRIEST DO A GOOD MASS AND A LOVELY FUNERAL
Here in Ireland we do good funerals – actually, they are among the best in the World. If you die it is hoped that the funeral will be celebrated by a priest who does a good mass and a lovely funeral and you are expected to turn up in style and you should not be too late.
For at least 800 years the Irish were widely known for their remarkable funeral customs and a well attended funeral was the only proof needed that the deceased was a beloved member of the community.
Hearses were originally hand-drawn then horse-drawn after the decoration and weight of the hearse increased. The first electric motorized hearses were introduced to the United States in the early 1900s. Petrol-powered hearses began to be produced from 1907 and, after slow initial uptake due to their high cost, became widely accepted in the 1920s.The vast majority of hearses since then have been based on larger, more powerful car chassis, generally retaining the front end up to and possibly including the front doors but with custom bodywork to the rear to contain the coffin.
The word “hearse” comes from the term harrow, which is a type of plowing equipment used to level the land. The framework of the early hearse had spikes for holding candles that resembled the teeth of a harrow. It consisted of a wooden or metal framework that stood over the bier holding the casket.
During the 17th century, the biers evolved into horse-drawn carriages. During the 19th century is when the wooden carriages became more intricate with carvings of flowers, doves, and scrolls. There also were velvet draperies hanging from the carriage sides, and the carriage was usually made of mahogany wood.