Multi-Cultural Funeral Traditions

floating candles

“We are a nation of communities… a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”

The strength of communities lies in our ability to work together and support one another, especially when our friends and neighbors face challenges. Losing a loved one is a challenge that all families and communities must inevitably face.

Here at Gentry Griffey, we celebrate the diversity of our community. This is why we offer a wide variety of options to meet the special religious and cultural traditions of families.

Our dedicated staff is happy to assist families from all faiths and cultures with their end of life ceremonial and memorial needs.

Funeral traditions vary for many reasons. One factor to be considered when planning a funeral in Knoxville is the set of regional and cultural traditions that are popular in our area. Often families move to Knoxville from other parts of the country or even from around the world.

Gentry Griffey is happy to help you with your funeral pre-planning and we are committed to seeing your needs met. No matter what your cultural requirements or desired funeral traditions may be, our staff will help make this process less difficult for you.

Another factor that can affect a family’s decisions about funeral planning is their spiritual background or religious faith. Whether Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish or any other spiritual background, we are happy to work with you to carry out your loved one’s wishes for his or her memorial or funeral services.

Some religious funeral traditions dictate that services be held as soon as possible after a loved one’s passing. There may be a need for a purification ceremony or prayer service as well as watching over the deceased remains. In other cultures, it is customary to wait for a set amount of time, such as a week or more.

Cultural traditions often require specific ritual chanting, singing of particular songs, praying, music, readings, burning incense or lighting candles. If your culture dictates these or other funeral specifics, we are happy to work with you to make your wishes a reality.

Many cultures wear black to show respect to their loved one, but members of some cultures wear white as part of their funeral traditions. Some customs dictate that the family of the deceased be present at a burial ceremony, while others request that family not be present for this.

In these modern times, many traditions are not adhered to as they once were. Whether you choose to plan a funeral or memorial steeped in tradition or you wish to embrace some more modern practices, we want our families to feel confident that their wishes were carried out.

Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel offers a variety of on-site options for funeral and memorial services. We can also arrange your funeral and memorials at most any other site of your choosing. Funerals serve as a way to mourn a loss, but they can also serve as a celebration of a life well-lived.

If you are interested in planning or pre-planning a special memorial or multi-cultural funeral ceremony, we would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions that you might have. Contact us at 865-689-4481 or

[image used via by mith17 (contact)]