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Ruhiyyih Khanum's Funeral

The funeral of Mrs Ruhiyyih Rabbani, 89, international dignitary of the Bahá'í Faith, was held on Sunday, January 23, at 2 pm. Mrs Rabbani was buried in Haifa, Israel, in a garden facing the home where she lived since 1937.

The simple ceremony, which took place in Mrs Rabbani's home, consisted of readings from the Baha'i sacred scriptures. The Bahá'í obligatory prayer for the dead was recited. It is the only Bahá'í prayer which is to be recited in congregation; it is to be recited by one Bahá'í while all present stand.

Mrs Rabbani's coffin was carried across the street to her final resting place by six pall bearers, from six different parts of the world. At the graveside, a prayer by Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, was read, which says, in part, "Within the garden of Thine immortality, before Thy countenance, let me abide forever, O Thou who art merciful unto me". This is not the obligatory prayer referred to previously.

The rain, which had held off until the final minutes of the funeral, poured down.

About 1000 people attended the funeral, including Mr Chris Greenshields, Minister-Counsellor of the Canadian Embassy; Mrs Marsha Von Duerckhein, Consul-General of the US Embassy; Mr Ariel Kenet of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr Roman Bronfman, Member of the Knesset; Mr Amram Mitzna, the Mayor of Haifa; and Mr Shmaryahu Biran, the Mayor of Acre. Dr Nissam Dana of the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs represented the Israeli Government.

Many of the Bahá'í Faith's senior officers attended, including members of the Universal House of Justice, international Counselors, and members of some 80 national Bahá'í governing councils from as far away as Mongolia and Samoa. Mr Jack McCants and Mrs Pat Locke represented the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'í of the United States.

Thousands of memorials are being held nationally and locally throughout the world.

©Copyright 2000, US Office of Public Information

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