|Are clothes always put on the lower half of the body (and especially, shoes)? If so, why? If they are, I have never been able to understand the reason for this since only the top half of the body is shown in the casket. In my state of Michigan, they do not display the full body.|
|Yes, in most cases the body is fully dressed, although, it is quite common for people to just bring socks for a man and no shoes. Interestingly enough, a lot more people bring shoes or slippers for a woman than bring shoes for a man. The why part of your question would create a lot of reasons. I suppose it's just the idea that Dad should be fully dressed.
Incidentally, the top of the casket is not divided exactly in half. It is actually more of a 55/35 cut so some of the trousers are frequently seen. Customs often continue for years after the need for them. Remember, flowers were originally sent to funerals to mask the odor of the decaying unembalmed body in the parlor. Ask any former missionary what it's like to attend a wake in countries where they don't embalm.
I really think it is a good idea to bring all the clothing a person would wear when they went out. Oh, and one of my hot buttons is that, if people bring shoes the funeral director should PUT THEM ON THE DECEASED.
This may be my longest non-answer. It's just a tradition.
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