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Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789–1996$
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Avner Ben-Amos

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203285.001.0001

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Incorporation: The Burial and the Resonance of the Funeral

Incorporation: The Burial and the Resonance of the Funeral

(p.335) 12 Incorporation: The Burial and the Resonance of the Funeral
Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789–1996

Avner Ben-Amos

Oxford University Press

During the third phase of the funeral, the deceased was incorporated into the world of the dead. The great man moved gradually back from the public to the private sphere, ready to join the other illustrious ancestors who had already undergone the same process of consecration. The first step in that direction took place in a closed farewell ceremony at a church or another civil monument. The farewell ceremony — except the one at the Panthéon — had three parts: religious, civil, and military. After the religious ritual inside the church, the coffin was brought out to the square in front of it, where the participants listened to a funeral oration and watched an army parade saluting the body. After the parade, the coffin was either brought back into the church for a burial or taken to a burial at a cemetery. This chapter focuses on the burial and the resonance of the funeral and how state funerals provide a rare moment in which politics disappeared and uncovered the basic unity of France.

Keywords:   France, state funerals, burial, religious ritual, army parade, farewell ceremony, funeral oration, coffin

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