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Victorian Era Death Penalty Masks and Rituals

There was a manner in which there was caring of the dead person. The manner was such that it is a very different feeling to see the dear ones lying peacefully without any response.

Victorian era funeral in 1905
Victorian funeral in 1905

Before the funeral

The men and women used to dress up like they usually do. People were the given the freedom and comforts of life when they came for the funeral.

Flowers were strewn about the face.

Victorian era funeral
Victorian era funeral

Watching the dead

It is no longer a custom but in those times it was a custom to watch the dead. The preparation for the dead used to be done by very close friends. It was also seen as a very thoughtful act when someone would volunteer from the family. This makes the grief and the sadness of the house to reduce to some extent.

Victorian era funeral
Victorian era funeral


Black crape tied with a white ribbon was placed on the door or on the bell knob. It indicated that the dread visitor has somehow entered the house. Some people still wonder as to how exactly would a clang of bell actually help in reducing the sorrow of the people. In many of the houses, it was seen that the bell was left ajar. It was done so because friends and relatives could then enter very quietly.

The white drape looked like white ribbon. This was used for the young people and for the old people a black drape was used.

At the house

At the sad event of mourning, it was seen that the friends and the relatives used to come. Until there is a funeral, no form of condolence is made by any of the visitors.


The family had the decision power of deciding as to how many people to invite and also to decide for whom the carriages should be arranged.

A list was made and everything was pre-decided.

Funeral service

The funeral house was usually held in the house itself. Just before the work of the clergyman started, the mourners would sit quietly near the casket.

People who are present should always look at the person who died before taking their seats.

The casket of the person is under no situation or circumstance ever opened. The family of the deceased sits together close to each other. All the people who desire to look at the dead are invited and they pass their prayers.