This volume is devoted to customary funeral rites. It opens with the omens of death, next come the throes, and finally the actual death. Care and attention given to the dying person, causes for the death throes dragging on and remedies to stop them dragging on are likewise accounted for. The administration of viaticum and sacramental anointing of the sick, Christian rites of passage from life to death, are also described.
All activity ceased in the house of the deceased when death occurred. Attention is given to the following: mourning of the bereaved household and notification of the death; washing and shrouding of the corpse, wake or vigil, room with the deceased, laying out of the corpse, and coffin; and corpse ways, bearing of the corpse to the church, bearers, and funeral cortège.
A description of the events that took place in church follows: obsequies and the funeral mass, obsequial days and anniversary masses; offerings and suffrages at the church grave; act of burial and bereavement prior to and after the burial; return of the cortège to the house of the deceased, funeral feast and refreshments for the attendees; duration of the mourning period and mourning apparel; commemoration of the dead and religious brotherhoods for the dead; burial places and internment methods; and lastly, beliefs and popular legends about ghosts and wandering spirits.
Fieldwork conducted in 85 localities (Álava: 18; Bizkaia: 17; Gipuzkoa: 13; Navarre: 18; Northern Basque Country: 19). Research campaign carried out in 1990. Date of publication: 1993. Date of reprint: 2005. Of paramount importance to the project was the information gathered in the Northern Basque Country during the biennium 1987-89 by Etniker Iparralde, recipient of the ethnographic research scholarship José Miguel de Barandiaran, who conducted the questionnaire in 69 localities across the three Basque territories to the north of the Pyrenees; mainly data from 19 selected surveys were included in this work.