Monday, October 4, 2010
Post Seventy-Five: A Day of Sin Eating and Holy Men.
Have you ever heard of the sin eating folklore?
This s%^t be whack! My good friend Howard, a funeral director, was very excited to tell me about this 'sin eating ritual' he had learned about in a movie. I wikipedia'd it (sigh) as soon as I got home and, lo and behold, this ritual practise seems to have been pretty freaky but largely unstudied.
The term 'sin eater' refers to a person who, in a wacky ritual, pretty much took on the sins of a dead person by eating food off the corpses chest! Traditionally, it was performed by a beggar, and some villages had their own special sin-eaters. They would be brought to the dying person's bedside, where a relative would place a crust of bread on the chest of the dying and pass a bowl of ale to him over the corpse. After praying or reciting the ritual, he would then drink and remove the bread from the dead dude and eat it, the act of which would remove the sin from the dying person and take it into himself....
Crazy! What sort of person just takes on someone elses sins for food? Ummm, probably me. I don't really fall for superstition and I love ale. A lot.
On another note, a group of ministers in training came in to the funeral home for a tour today. It was funny, I didn't really assume younger folk to be ministers, so I had quite the shock. Religion huh. Anyway, I gave the obligitory cheesy speech about what my job entails, including the 'I hope I don't see you again' farewell...nervous laughs aside I think people loved it. Ministers, eat my sins? You'll have a lot of chins. Resorting to rhyme. See post script note.
P.S. Writing whilst someone in the other room is watching a particularly steamy episode of Mad Men is a challenge...the biggest challenge to my writing yet.