After the wedding, the years of the spouses pass like in the flight and mostly without rough turning points. High points are only the celebrations in the life course of their children and naturally the festivals in the cycle of the year. Only with the death a new section appears, which again clearly expresses the elementary thinking and feeling in the death custom.
Fear of the gaze of the dead
The once cultivated rituals have not yet been completely forgotten, even if pagan and christian ideas are more and more mixed and dispose of each other. So they are careful to close the eyes and shut the mouth of the dead person.
The original reason for this may be the fear of being "dragged" by the spirits of the dead through the eyes or through the open mouth to be. In the dreilandereck northeast of wallenfels, the dead were laid out on a particularly rough and wide board. From this use comes the expression "to lie on the board", which means as much as "to be dead. At that time the dead body was buried only shortly before the burial.
An old legal custom of neighborly help prescribed that a neighbor must act as corpse orderer. He had to take care of all the official notifications and all the orders such as coffin, pallbearer and lute. By the way, it was also a neighbor’s right and duty to dig the grave for the deceased.
The entire village community is informed of a death by the sound of bells, with one bell tolling after the other: the large bell for adults and the small bell for children. The sound is perceived as a help on the way to eternity. The original meaning of the bells was to ward off damons and to protect the living from the dead and the spirits of the dead.
Until the burial, the deceased was buried at home in the "good room" according to the old custom or laid out in the hallway. As long as the deceased remained in the house, relatives and neighbors came to keep a kind of wake or just to keep the relatives company.
It was also customary for the villagers to visit the body in the coffin. According to ancient custom, the man carried to the "last course" his wedding suit. This suggests that the corpse was still granted a kind of life, and that it was intended to appease evil makers. Before the coffin ceremony, the deceased is taken leave of by touching the right hand. The blessing of the deceased by the priest is accompanied by the church choir singing the "leich absingen".
When the deceased is carried out of the house, it is necessary to take care of several things. All cattle must be on all fours at this time if they are not to die. It is also bad luck for the cattle if someone returning from the burial enters the stable with the same shoes. The flower sticks must be turned upside down when the dead person is carried out, otherwise they will no longer thrive and will die. In the same way, the grains of grain in the house were to be stirred vigorously, otherwise the same would not open.
All this betrayed the original fear that through the veneration of the dead and with it the power of the dead, misfortune and harm would come and fertility and prosperity would give way. The coffin is lowered three times over the threshold with the words "in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit".
According to the law of the time, it is still the honorary duty of the male neighbors to carry the corpse. According to the old custom, the remains are finally lowered into the grave in such a way that the body is located where the priest "holds the body". The gravestone will be placed in the same place later, so that the deceased can look at his gravestone.
Even at the end of life, meanwhile, the primacy of the man is forever. Although one does not admit this as freely as in the old proverb: "weibeschdarm is ka fedarm – pfaavereggn is a schreggn"!" Nevertheless, the difference between a "woman’s body" and a "woman’s body" is clear and a "mannerleich. A woman’s funeral is seldom attended by an association, often lacking the honorific obituaries and also the farewell tributes from the brass band and the church choir. What remains, however, is the memory of the "beautiful frankenwaldlerin", in the "national anthem of the frankenwald" is forever immortalized. There it says in the last verse: "once the day comes, where one takes leave of the frankenwald. Dou ises aus midde maus, dou getts zenn friedhuof naus midde schonen frankenwaldlerin."