Rite of passage

Charles Cowling

Tradition/Superstition – Babies carried over coffin from Manny Felarca on Vimeo.


Here’s an interesting custom — passing a newborn or unbaptised infant over a coffin. 

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8 years ago

Apparently it’s to stop the spirit of the close dead relative harming/haunting the innocent child.


8 years ago

Lovely. So often there is a new baby in the family at the time of a death (coincidence?).Where the family are happy for me to do so, I will bring the baby forward as we say farewell to the dead one,. using the opportunity to cast their eyes on the future and to get the sense of continuity. I like it and what’s more, so do the families who go for it.

Jenny Uzzell
8 years ago

My best guess would be something to do with life coming out of death, or the cycle of life, or something like that. Or possibly the dead blessing the baby in some way.
Looks like funeral directors doing this, though and I would have thought this would be a prime example of something more appropriately done by the family.

Poppy Mardall
8 years ago

Fascinating! Thanks for this Charles.