Shroud, in Mennonite circles a white gown in which the dead are buried, which was made over a specified pattern. In the 19th century its use was probably universal in the Mennonite Church (MC). The more conservative areas of the Mennonite Church (MC) such as the Franconia Conference still make some use of the shroud, and such groups as the Wisler Mennonites still use it as a general practice. Funeral directors have each shroud made to order. Mennonite funerals tend to be somewhat differentiated from general Christian practice in various respects. Earlier this meant the use of a coffin rather than a casket, the coffin being tapered gently from the shoulder point toward both ends, while the casket was completely rectangular; the body was clothed in a shroud rather than in conventional dress; there was congregational singing rather than special music; no flowers were brought to the meetinghouse; the body was viewed outside the meetinghouse; and burial occurred before the memorial service was held. By the mid-20th century many of these distinctive practices had been lost except in the more conservative groups, and in the more conservative areas of the Mennonite Church (MC). (See also Funeral Customs.)
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 517. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Wenger, John C. "Shroud." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/shroud.
APA style: Wenger, John C. (1959). Shroud. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/shroud.