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James Callow Folklore Archive

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MY BROTHER PETE WAS GIVEN A PROPER IRISH WAKE. AFTER THE DOCTOR HAD
CLEANED HIM UP A BIT, MOTHER WASHED AND DRESSED HIM. HE WAS THEN
TAKEN TO THE UNDERTAKER, UNDRESSED, EMBALMED, REDRESSED, AND BROUGHT
HOME TO US. THE LIVING ROOM WAS DARKENED AND DRAPED IN BLACK.
TAPERS BURNED AROUND THE COFFIN ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT. ONE OF US
KEPT THE DEATHWATCH, SAYING THE ROSARY OVER AND OVER. NEIGHBORS CAME
TO BRING FOOD AND PRAY OVER HIM.
THE WHOLE TOWN CROWDED INTO AND AROUND OUR HOUSE FOR THE RECITATION
OF THE ROSARY FOR MY POOR DEAD BROTHER. ON THE THIRD DAY AFTER HIS
DEATH, SIX OF PETES BEST FRIENDS CARRIED HIM ON THEIR SHOULDERS TO
TH MISSION CHURCH.
JUST BEFORE PETE WAS SEALED INTO HIS COFFIN, WE WERE ALL FORCED
TO KISS HIM GOODBYE. HE WAS COLD AND HARD. THEN EACH OF US THREW A
SHOVELFUL OF DIRT OVER THE BOX IN THE GRAVE.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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