Thursday, December 9, 2010

Burial Rites and Traditions

Following is a story that was conveyed during the course of our first focus group.  Much to our surprise it happened in the early 1960's in the United States. 

A woman had twins prematurely (4-6 wks.), and the first was really born at home. She raced to the hospital but the first baby was already gone.  She was told that they had to take the second baby who also died.  It turned to be a boy and a girl. 

The hospital refused to tell the woman what they had done with the babies or if and where they were buried.  It haunted her terribly throughout her life that she was unable to grieve and visit their graves, etc. She was never able to talk about it or tell her other children about it until they were grown.

Every life is sacred and we have an obligation to treat it with dignity and respect even when life has ended. The issue of burial rites is a universal one. 

Crypto-Judasim in Ireland

According to Wikipedia, the earliest reference to the Jews in Ireland was in the year 1079.  

A permanent settlement of Jews was definitely established, however, in the late fifteenth century. Following their expulsion from Portugal in 1496, some of these Marrano Jews settled on Ireland's south coast. Ireland's first synagogue was founded in 1660 near Dublin Castle, and the first Jewish cemetery was founded in the early eighteenth century in the Fairview district of Dublin, where there was a small Jewish colony.

There is a history of people known as Crypto-Jews who were a community of people who fled from the Spanish Inquisition and practiced Judiasm underground while posing as Catholics.  They were buried in cemeteries reserved for infants who died before baptism. The un-baptised infants and crypto Jews were buried away from the consecrated graveyard alongside murderers, lunatics and others deemed beyond salvation.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our Proposed Documentary

This blog is about a proposed documentary which is in it's beginning stages.

The main concept is Celtic mysticism, Irish burial rites and traditions from conception through birth, miscarriage and stillbirth beginning in the 14th century. It also involves Ballykissane and the Crypto Jews.

We had our first focus group which consisted of 12 women.  They were very forthcoming with personal stories of insensitive treatment and injustices suffered during miscarriages and infant deaths. It was shocking to hear that stories of current times bore striking parallels to the research we have conducted on practices that were common seven centuries ago.   We have several focus groups scheduled in the near future and have found it very easy to recruit women who are anxious to participate.

We invite all of you to do the same.