Why The Hearse Is Used At Funeral Processions
When most people think of funeral processions, they imagine a long line of black cars following the hearse. But why is the hearse used as the standard vehicle for transporting the deceased? Why didn’t funeral processions use wagons or carriages in the past? Let’s take a look at the history of the hearse and find out!
History Of The Hearse
In history, first, the word hearse is just modified horse-drawn carriages. The earliest horse-drawn carriage known example of a hearse was used in the 15th century to transport the body of Pope Innocent VIII from Rome to his hometown of Genoa, Italy. Funeral cars for other aristocrats and religious figures soon began using similar vehicles from the funeral home.
Moreover, in the 17th and 18th centuries, hearses were often elaborately decorated with black drapes and other somber embellishments. This was partly because funerals were much more public affairs back then mourners would often walk in the funeral procession route behind the hearse, and sometimes even ride on top of it.
Nowadays, of course, funeral processions are much more low-key affairs. The motorized hearses are still used as the standard vehicle for funeral service, but it is usually followed by a few simple black cars or funeral directors rather than a long line of mourners.
Standard Vehicle For Funeral Transportation
Horse-drawn Hearses also became more popular because they were seen as being more respectful and dignified than other types of a funeral coach. This horse-drawn hearse was especially important in the Victorian era when funerals were often viewed as a way to show respect for the deceased.
As a result of all these factors, the use of funeral hearses became increasingly common in funeral processions throughout the world. And while the tradition has changed somewhat over time, the hearse is still used as the standard vehicle for transporting caskets by the hearse driver that leads the funeral procession today.
How The Tradition Caught On
The tradition of using hearses to transport the deceased eventually caught on in the United States as well. In 1849, the first hearse was built in America for use in a funeral procession. Since then, the hearse has been the standard vehicle for transporting caskets in funeral processions.
In those days, people believed that if the body was not buried within 24 hours after death, the soul would be unable to enter heaven. This meant that funerals had to take place quickly, and there was no time for a wagon or carriage to transport the body from the place of death to the cemetery. The hearse was the perfect solution to this problem, as it could transport the body quickly and efficiently.
Nowadays, the use of the hearse in funeral processions is more symbolic than anything else. While the tradition started of necessity, it has now become a symbol of respect and dignity for the deceased. When you see a hearse in a funeral procession, you know that the person inside is being treated with the utmost respect.
Culture Highlights The Hearse
In many cultures, the hearse funeral coach is seen as a way to highlight the importance of the deceased.
Decorated With Flowers
In some cultures, the hearse is decorated with flowers and other items that are significant to the deceased. This helps to create a more personal and meaningful funeral procession.
Hearse As The Centerpiece
In other cultures, the hearse is the centerpiece of the funeral procession and is given a place of honor. This is often done to show respect for the deceased and their family.
Decorated With Photos
In other cultures, the hearse is seen as a way to honor the deceased’s life. In these cultures, the hearse is often decorated with photos or other items that represent the deceased’s life and accomplishments.
No matter what culture you are from, the use of the hearse in a funeral procession is a way to show respect for the deceased. If you are ever in a position to attend a funeral, take a moment to think about the role that the hearse plays in the process. It is a reminder of the importance of life and death, and it is a symbol of our respect for those who have passed away.
Future Of Funeral Processions
While the tradition of using hearses in funeral processions is likely to continue for many years to come, there is always the possibility that it will change. With the advent of new technologies, there are now much more efficient ways to transport caskets. For example, some funeral homes now use specially-designed vehicles that can transport multiple casks at once.
It’s also possible that the use of hearses will decline as more people choose to cremate their loved ones instead of burying them. The use of hearses has already declined somewhat in recent years due to the rising popularity of cremation.
However, it’s doubtful that the use of hearses will ever completely disappear. After all, the hearse is still the most respectful and dignified way to transport a casket. And as long as that is the case, the hearse will continue to be an important part of funeral processions around the world.
Funeral etiquette For Following A Hearse
When following a hearse in a funeral procession, certain funeral cortege etiquette rules should be followed.
Never Honk Your Horn
One of the most important rules of etiquette is to never honk your horn. This is because it can be seen as disrespectful to the deceased.
Stay Behind The Hearse
Another rule of etiquette is to stay behind the hearse at all times. This helps to create a sense of respect and dignity for the deceased.
Never Overtake The Hearse
It is also considered to be disrespectful to overtake the hearse. This is because it shows a lack of respect for the deceased and their family. This means keeping at least one car length between you and the hearse at all times.
Get Hearse For Funeral
For a hearse, be sure to check out Heritage Coach Company. We offer a wide selection of top-quality hearses that are perfect for funeral processions. We also offer a variety of customization options, so you can create a hearse that perfectly represents the life and accomplishments of your loved one.