Funeral Rites, are those ceremonies which are religiously-observed at the interment or burial of the dead. They varied among the ancients, according to the different genius and religion of each country.
It is not, however, our design to specify these ceremonies, but merely to point out an abuse that loudly claims the attention of all. In many populous parishes, within the bills of mortality, a dangerous practice prevails, of excavating pits (graves they cannot be called) for the reception of the poor, who, being packed in four deal-boards loosely nailed together, are there deposited, til) thehole is sufficiently filled. During the interval, planks are laid over the common grave ; and, when the uppermost coffin arrives, a minister is employed to mutter, at once, the usual prayers over the hapless victims of poverty, who are then covered with the maternal earth. Such mal-pra6tice demands an immediate remedy ; as the mephitic vapours arising through the planks, especially during sum-mer, have the most noxious properties ; and perhaps many have met with a premature grave, from inhaling those putrid exhalations.— Facts like these, we conceive it our duty to state, on account of their immediate influence on the health of every inhabitant.