Aunt Flossie’s Grave Digging scheduled for September 20th with her Funeral Service on September 23rd, 2017

The “Queen Of York” Aunt  Flossie Louise Russell will be interred at her Family’s Burial Plot, York District, Bensonton, St. Ann, Jamaica W.I on Saturday September 23Rd after her Thanksgiving Service at the historic Bensonton Methodist Church, St. Ann, at 11 AM.

Grave Digging

This is an important ritual mainly practiced in the rural parts of Jamaica.  In the city a front end loader would most likely be used to dig the vault/grave.

In the rural areas, in most cases, this exercise is done with pickaxes and shovels being manually swung until the grave is dug to the required depth … possibly (6) six feet. Then as is now the common practice a concrete vault is built of blocks and reinforced with steel.  The vault is usually painted white.  Some folks are known to even tile inside of same.

Rum & Eatings

This ritual can and usually includes the sprinkling and consumption of white rum and the eating of a cooked meal like curried goat. It can be an elaborate “celebration” as part of the grave digging ritual. Spiritual songs are also oftentimes sung.

Many in the district are known to visit the grave digging ritual as spectators. The digging is usually done by volunteers who are experienced at carrying out this ritual. You may call them “professional grave diggers”. The ritual normally takes a day or two to be completed … based on the weather conditions etc. We wish the digging well.

May Aunt Flossie’s soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine on her… sadly missed indeed!

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper.

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