Veneration of the dead  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Veneration of the dead or ancestor reverence is based on the belief that the dead have a continued existence and/or possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Some groups venerate their direct, familial ancestors; some faith communities, in particular the Catholic Church, venerate saints as intercessors with God.

In some Eastern, African and Afro-Diasporic cultures the goal of ancestor veneration is to ensure the ancestors' continued well-being and positive disposition towards the living, and sometimes to ask for special favours or assistance. The social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration is to cultivate kinship values, such as filial piety, family loyalty, and continuity of the family lineage. While far from universal, ancestor veneration occurs in societies with every degree of social, political, and technological complexity, and it remains an important component of various religious practices in modern times.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Veneration of the dead" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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