A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

At Funerals

Translation by Brad Schwebler

          It is worth mentioning that before there was a hearse it was an honor to be invited to carry the casket.  At the burial there were very many parts to be taken.  It was especially beautiful when the pastor read about the life of the deceased.  One learned to know the relationships of relatives from it.  Some names in the ancestor register in this book are known to me from these courses of life.  Important incidents from the lives of the dead the pastor used in his eulogy with all the skill of a Retoriker? (speaker) and hardly a dry eye remained in the bereaved community.

          When the funeral procession went from the house of the dead to the cemetery they closed their shops as soon as it was within hearing distance (when they heard choral singing.)  In some cases the music band also played funeral marches.  One did not go into the church with the coffin.  Everything was carried out of the bereavement house and to the grave.

          During both wars a funeral service was also held for the fallen heroes, and nobody did not participate in it.  It was really a people’s community in need, joy, and misery.

          On Sundays, one half hour before the church service the men assembled in front of the church and exchanged news.  The women went straight to their seats on the left side of the church, all the way up front were the young girls, in the middle were the young married women, and behind them were the old.  With the men it was reversed.  In the front on the right side in the two special benches sat the presbyters (elders) with the church inspector at the center, then came the seats for the old men and behind them sat the single boys.  But when a stranger did not keep this order, he was not disturbed.

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]