Three-day funeral(三日葬)

Three-day funeral

Headword

삼일장 ( 三日葬 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Sangnye|Jangnye

Writer KimSiduk(金時德)

Funeral in which the body of the deceased is buried on the third day after death.

The length of the mourning period or the funeral period is closely related to the social status of the deceased. The more famous the deceased person was in life, the longer the period, and vice versa. A longer period of mourning means that the mourners are large in number and varied in range. Yet it mainly implies that the period includes successive days of the role of the deceased when they are alive. The higher the social status of the deceased, supposedly the more shocked and confused the bereaved, implying that more days are required to stabilize the confusion.

Traditionally, samiljang took place on rare occasions during the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392), but in the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), when Confucian funeral customs were well established, samiljang was never held. Under Japanese colonial rule, however, all funerals had to be conducted within the fifth day after death under the policy of simplifying ceremonies and rituals in the name of modernization. After Liberation, the number of mourning days was restricted in three from 1973, meaning that the modern rule of samiljang was enforced by the government. For funerals (hyungnye), the day of the event is included in the total number, while for memorial rites (gillye) the day of the event is not counted. But as three days is too short to prepare for a funeral, the custom of samiljang was often not observed in real life, despite the instruction in Korea’s Regulations on Family Ceremonies.

Indeed, these days the samiljang rule is not widely observed. In the case of Christian funerals, they cannot be held on a Sunday since people go to church or mass. This suggests that the mourning period should realistically be lengthened to four days. In addition, if the deceased passes away at night or dawn, the bereaved often need four or five days to prepare for the funeral.

Three-day funeral

Three-day funeral
Headword

삼일장 ( 三日葬 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Sangnye|Jangnye

Writer KimSiduk(金時德)

Funeral in which the body of the deceased is buried on the third day after death.

The length of the mourning period or the funeral period is closely related to the social status of the deceased. The more famous the deceased person was in life, the longer the period, and vice versa. A longer period of mourning means that the mourners are large in number and varied in range. Yet it mainly implies that the period includes successive days of the role of the deceased when they are alive. The higher the social status of the deceased, supposedly the more shocked and confused the bereaved, implying that more days are required to stabilize the confusion.

Traditionally, samiljang took place on rare occasions during the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392), but in the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), when Confucian funeral customs were well established, samiljang was never held. Under Japanese colonial rule, however, all funerals had to be conducted within the fifth day after death under the policy of simplifying ceremonies and rituals in the name of modernization. After Liberation, the number of mourning days was restricted in three from 1973, meaning that the modern rule of samiljang was enforced by the government. For funerals (hyungnye), the day of the event is included in the total number, while for memorial rites (gillye) the day of the event is not counted. But as three days is too short to prepare for a funeral, the custom of samiljang was often not observed in real life, despite the instruction in Korea’s Regulations on Family Ceremonies.

Indeed, these days the samiljang rule is not widely observed. In the case of Christian funerals, they cannot be held on a Sunday since people go to church or mass. This suggests that the mourning period should realistically be lengthened to four days. In addition, if the deceased passes away at night or dawn, the bereaved often need four or five days to prepare for the funeral.