The Charitables: French brotherhood burying dead since 1188

The Confrérie des Charitables de Saint-Éloi has carried on its duties through war and plague

To the sound of a single tolling bell, the brothers of the Confrérie des Charitables de Saint-Éloi, in capes, white gloves and bicornes, lift the coffin from a wooden cart and lower it into the ground.

Standing over the grave they remove their hats, say “requiescat in pace” (rest in peace) in unison and bow their heads. It does not matter whether the deceased is rich or poor, the solemn ritual is the same and has been since 1188.

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