Professional mourners, or moirologists, are people who are paid to attend funerals and mourn, without actually knowing the person who died. The profession has been around since ancient times and is making a resurgence around the world today.
Shades of Mourning
A mourner is someone who attends a funeral and mourns for the deceased. Mourning is the action of feeling or expressing sorrow. Mourners at a funeral may have been close family or friends of the man that has died or they might have been affected by the job of the man that has died, without knowing them personally. Alternatively, they may be hired mourners.
A hired mourner is someone who has been paid to visit a funeral and express sorrow for the man or woman who has died, despite not necessarily having had a personal relationship with them.
While professional mourners are not massively popular in the western world, they're an essential component of many Asian cultures. China, for example, has a long history of using elaborate funeral processions where professional mourners play an important part, dating back as far as the 8th Century.
What Do Professional Mourners Do?
Professional mourners are paid to behave like they are mourning for the individual whose funeral they are attending. Depending on various factors, their “mourning” may look different from person to person. Factors like the culture and aspirations of the deceased person, as well as the wishes of their surviving loved ones come into play for the mourning service itself. Some cultures may encourage exaggerated shows of emotion. Mourners at such a funeral would be expected to mourn in an exaggerated manner. Some cultures or people might lean towards quiet and dignified scenes of emotion, and mourners will be expected to behave appropriately to that.
Whether you’re from a culture where professional mourners are an accepted norm or one where they aren’t, you need to know your loved one’s funeral is in the right hands. You need a professional funeral service. Woodward Cremation & Funeral Services have been bringing quality funeral services to the good people of central Florida since 1954. Visit us today, to find out more.