Funeral of Kings
Rite of Heroes and Nobles
Death, after all, is the common expectation from birth. Neither heroes nor cowards can escape it.
OverviewThe Funeral of Kings is a ceremony, service, and tradition that is preformed for monarchs and great heroes within vabuian culture. While every culture observes it slightly differently, it remains mostly the same worldwide, the rights upheld and retained, with lots of love and care taken to prepare and preform the ceremony. Often, the ceremony is only preformed for the dearly departed of reigning monarchs (thus it's namesake), but sometimes it is preformed for any individual who, a sovereign state believes, is deserving of such a perstegious and honorable funeral. Funerals, on the whole, are in vabuian culture a way to reflect the glory and life of those who came before us, of those who had perished from age, tragedy, disease, or battle. This specific kind of funeral ritual is considered the highest form of honor and universal praise one can receive, solidifying their life as that of good character, divine blessings, and righteous acts.
The history of the ritual begins with the life and death of the first High King of the Xinsters, Adam Aviel Xinkaholi. Although his reign was brutal and least deserving by today's standards, he mandated that a prestegiuos and expensive funeral be held in his honor when he died, and it was so. Many of the same traditions remain today from the first of the funerals, rules and rituals of the time of early Purester and Xinster culture. The idea of an excessive and ritualistic funeral continued on throughout the years, spreading slowly from the land as each culture added or tweaked the formula to best suit their cultural needs. It wasn't until the death of one of the first great heroes of Vabu, Saint Alexander Hojo, who fought against the Devilers when they came from the Jungles of Hell during the Night of Blood, holding the line as long as he could and buying the fleeing refuges valuable time to flee. Those who had stayed on the continent had the remains of Alexander delivered to them by an angel, to be put to rest. Giving him a funeral fit for a king, the tale of the flame lit night under a sea of stars lasting the test of time through the century the war took, traveling to the New World to further spread as a rite for great heroes.
The funereal itself is begun with the family and those who knew the deceased sitting in rows, with a main isle for that of the departed and the casket bearers. The 'casket' itself can be a physical casket, or it can be a simple cloth wrapping of the body, whatever is appropriate for the culture. If the body is irrecoverable, the casket can be empty, or replaced with whatever is suitable for the family. A flag of the nationality of the deceased is always put on top or wrapped around the casket, being that of a sign of supreme respect of the sovereign they served under or for. As many established and known heroes and monarchs from across the world are asked to attend, to lend their strength to that of a fallen brother, of a glorious hero of destiny. Often, many of the asked heroes and nearly all of the monarchs attend out of respect of the legacy, as well as to not bring misfortune upon themselves from disrespecting the life of a hero. Military personal such as Grand Knights often have their platoon or entire ranks attend in uniform. In some cultures, they must stand still and in a submissive pose or a salute for the entire ceremony, unless they have been requested by the will of the deceased to be a part of the speech or other execution of the ceremony. The casket is then carried to the site of burial, being carefully lowered into a deep hole, the site being a vista of theirs in the wilderness or on their own property, to be memorialized and made a shrine. After being lowered, the priest preforming the ceremony asks for silence observed for the memory of the departed, and those who came before them. Music can be played at this step as well, and is often the case in Godester culture where a hymn is preformed by the state's choir. This moment represents a time of reflection for loved ones and others, to bring their minds to the moment in observance. An offering is presented to each of the gods, asking them to bless and honor the memory of the hero and the family of the departed, asking for their guidance and strength. The final offering presented is that of the departed's central god, and that god is asked to honor their life in heaven as it is on Vabu, to bring glory and good fortune to the family. Words and memories are shared by the priest, and loved ones of the dearly departed. Several rites are recited, and other cultural rituals are preformed at this moment before the life of the departed are memorialized in a telling of their story, and why they are deserving of a Funeral of Kings. A final silence (or hymn) is preformed, before all present are asked to leave as the casket is buried by it's casket holders.
As observed in many cultures, those who are memorialized with such a perstegious funeral have family become the focuses of rites that are preformed in honor of the departed. Gifts of gold and other measures of wealth are given to the family, a step that is most important of that in the death of a hero rather than that of a monarch. It is believed that wealth is an inheritance and measure of glory, as the world was made of wealth for the people to fulfill their destiny, so to must it be properly used to honor those who have pushed all of vabukind closer to that purpose. Also observed is an indefinite period of paid bereavement leave for the immediate family (until they are ready to return to work), the personal stories they had of the departed memorialized in prose and museums of heroes, as well as for it to be the burden of their state to look after them and ensure they are allowed to process their grief in peace (this often means armed guards at perimeters of personal homes to keep away and deter reporters).