In rural areas people do pull over in towns located in predominantly rural areas. But in major cities you will seldom find it happening.
I always cross myself when a hearse passes. Doing so provides an opportunity to pray for the departed and those grieving. It’s also a healthy reminder of our own mortality and that our death could occur at any minute.
Alice Borrowman from the Middleville Museum told me that when it was carrying a Catholic, a cross was placed atop the hearse. When a Protestant was inside, the cross in some places was removed or as in Young’s hearse it was folded down.
In our area it was definitely a community funeral and they paid a great deal of attention to death and funerals. Many people attended funerals, and would think it strange for a town’s resident not to pay respect to an upstanding citizen by attending a funeral. The funeral process began immediately after a death had occurred, when female neighbours or local midwives gathered at the home of the deceased to lay out the body. The corpse was typically laid on a bed or a flat surface, such as boards or a door, suspended between supports and covered with a white sheet. In some homes this would be in the front room, in others the bedroom or the kitchen. First the body was washed and then, using simple materials readily at hand, the mouth was closed by tying a handkerchief under the chin and coins or pebbles were used to close the eyes.
While the body was being prepared by the women, a six-sided coffin was being constructed by a local carpenter or lumber mill. It was a full day’s work and might be done without charge since the maker saw it as his contribution to the community. The body was kept in the home from one to three days, although hot weather or a very obese corpse might require speedy burial. In winter, the stove was allowed to go out to keep the house cool. If ice was available, a bathtub full was placed under the body, or ice was packed around the abdomen to slow decomposition and minimize odour.
where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.
Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage