Chief mourner(喪主)

Chief mourner

Headword

상주 ( 喪主 )

Location of the encyclopedia

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

Writer JangDongwoo(張東宇)

Sangju refers to the chief mourner, the one who organizes the whole funeral. Usually the first son of the deceased, or the first grandson, takes this role, also taking over the family ancestral rites. During the mourning period, he makes offerings of food every morning and evening as if the deceased were still alive.

The sangju generally does not wash his face and wears a round shaped hat (bangnip) or a brimmed round hat (gulgat), meaning that he has commited a crime against heaven. When a parent dies, he does not wear one sleeve of the upper garment before seongbok (Kor. 성복, Chin. 成服, lit. the first wearing of mourning clothes). When the father passes away, he does not wear the left arm, and when the mother passes away, he does not wear the right arm. This appearance indicates that he is a sinner and that he is too shocked by the death to dress properly. In this urgent situation, however, the chief mourner must prepare a coffin, shroud, and mourning clothes, look for a grave site, and prepare for tomb work. Article 18 of the Regulations on Family Ceremonies prescribes that the first son is jusang (Kor. 주상, Chin. 主喪, lit. chief mourner) and other family members and relatives wearing mourning clothes are called sangje (喪制). But the term sangje is not found in any classic books on rituals, so no grounds for the word can be found. It has been reported that sangje is dialect referring to sangju other than the first son.

Chief mourner

Chief mourner
Headword

상주 ( 喪主 )

Location of the encyclopedia

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

Writer JangDongwoo(張東宇)

Sangju refers to the chief mourner, the one who organizes the whole funeral. Usually the first son of the deceased, or the first grandson, takes this role, also taking over the family ancestral rites. During the mourning period, he makes offerings of food every morning and evening as if the deceased were still alive.

The sangju generally does not wash his face and wears a round shaped hat (bangnip) or a brimmed round hat (gulgat), meaning that he has commited a crime against heaven. When a parent dies, he does not wear one sleeve of the upper garment before seongbok (Kor. 성복, Chin. 成服, lit. the first wearing of mourning clothes). When the father passes away, he does not wear the left arm, and when the mother passes away, he does not wear the right arm. This appearance indicates that he is a sinner and that he is too shocked by the death to dress properly. In this urgent situation, however, the chief mourner must prepare a coffin, shroud, and mourning clothes, look for a grave site, and prepare for tomb work. Article 18 of the Regulations on Family Ceremonies prescribes that the first son is jusang (Kor. 주상, Chin. 主喪, lit. chief mourner) and other family members and relatives wearing mourning clothes are called sangje (喪制). But the term sangje is not found in any classic books on rituals, so no grounds for the word can be found. It has been reported that sangje is dialect referring to sangju other than the first son.