Honoring your religious rituals, cultural traditions, and family needs

How can we support your religious rituals, cultural traditions, and family needs at the end of life?

Chaplains can support you and your family by providing you with opportunities to honor your religious rituals and cultural traditions, including:  

  • Listening to your concerns or needs, praying with/for you, or providing support
  • Coordinating with the medical team to allow time and space for your wishes within the hospital routine as much as possible
  • Arranging any rituals, sacraments or traditions you would like such as baptism, prayers for the dying, anointing, etc.
  • Providing hospitality if you would like clergy or faith leaders from your place of worship to visit you in the hospital.
  • Helping you contact local faith communities such as a church, mosque, or temple for support if you are from out of town.
  • Providing scriptures from many religions, battery operated candles, prayer rugs, or other basic religious articles on request. 

What will happen to your loved one’s body after he or she dies?

After death, you and your family may spend time with your loved one. During this time, you and your nursing staff can discuss your preference for preparing your loved ones body such as bathing and dressing. Your nurse, social worker, or chaplain will guide you through the process of preparing to leave the hospital. 

If there are special cleansing rituals that will be performed at the funeral home, as common for Jews and Muslims, please let hospital staff know how you would like us to prepare the body. Once you have chosen a funeral home, we will coordinate the transport of your loved one’s body to the funeral home. It is best to plan for this in advance if at all possible.

How do you obtain a waiver for the 48-hour legal waiting period before cremation?

Texas law requires a mandatory 48-hour waiting period before cremation.  However, this can be waived in order to respect religious customs for burial as long as the death is due to natural causes. The process varies from county to county.  Please make your wishes known to the medical team.