In dressing the dead, their attendees sometimes find it difficult to choose the right color of clothes and often prefer dark clothing for men and a light colored apparel for women. We help in this matter. Our experts will advise you on any such issues.
The clothes in which someone passed away should not be handed over either to your own people or to strangers. Usually they are burned. If the relatives resist this and wish to wash the clothes and put them away, this is entirely up to them. It should only be kept in mind that these clothes should under no circumstances be worn for 40 days. The deceased is washed within an hour after his death, before he cools down completely. Normally, he is dressed in some new clothes that fit well and are neither too small nor too large. Used things are put on only when clean. It is forbidden to dress in clothes with stains of sweat or blood. This may bring another death. If in his/her lifetime the deceased asked to be dressed in something specific, his/her will should be met. Military servicemen are usually dressed in their uniform. Frontline veterans often ask that their medals be put on them since they will get lost or discarded over time while they had merited them and are proud of them. Overall, however, this is a purely personal issue of the family.
There must without fail be a white shroud with which the deceased is covered. Laid onto the forehead is a band with the image of Jesus Christ, Saint Mary, and St John the Baptist. On the band are words from the hymn of the Divine Liturgy printed in old style. In his hands, the body should hold a cross or an icon.
The current practice of burying in new, unworn clothes retains the vestiges of the belief that the novelty of the dead people’s clothes is a sign of purity and sinlessness of the soul, which must come to the other world clean and pure. Many elderly people prepare their “death attire” before the event.
Today, however, for reasons of economy, old clothes may be used in the funeral. Men are usually dressed in a dark suit and a shirt with a tie, women in a dress or a skirt with a blouse, mainly of dark tones but with the use of special shoes as footwear. This occurs nowadays everywhere. Such clothing is included in the package of burial accessories (along with a covering that simulates the shroud). Shoes have no solid soles since they are not for real service. They symbolize the above said custom of dressing the dead not in “real” clothes and footwear.