Horse drawn hearses are used for funerals in many countries. Wherever they are used they give an impression of respect and tradition to any funeral. Horse drawn funeral traditions vary according to the country or community in which the service is held, for example Asian funerals are very ornate and symbolic whereas Amish funerals are simple, peaceful and traditional.
Horse drawn funerals in Britain are generally quite traditional. People may choose to hire a horse drawn hearse as a mark of their appreciation and respect of the deceased. A traditional black hearse is often used, however white and silver hearses are used in cases where one is searching for a less sombre effect, perhaps for a childs funeral.
In Japan, funerals are usually held in the Buddhist rite. For Buddhists, the death of a person marks their entrance into a new phase of life, as a reincarnated being and the funeral focuses on preparing the deceased for their rebirth. Many traditional rituals are carried out before and after the funeral and then the body is carried in a hearse to the crematory. Japanese hearses are very ornate and resemble a miniature golden temple. They can be both motorised and horse drawn.
Funerals held in Amish communities are quite different to funerals of other cultures. Most cultures focus on the deceased whereas Amish funerals are focussed on God in relation to God allowing the deceased to remain with him for eternity. The funeral itself is quite simple and takes place in a home or a barn, as Amish communities do not worship in Church buildings. After the funeral the body is carried away in horse drawn hearse, never a motorized hearse, to the burial place. Four friends of the deceased are given the responsibility of preparing the horse drawn hearse, digging the grave and preparing the funereal room. The whole ceremony is simple and peaceful.