Mary Lee South, the mother of actor Tom Cruise, has died. South was 80, had been struggling with illness for the last few years, and died in her sleep.
According to TMZ, a funeral service was already held for South, and was attended by Cruise and his three sisters.
South was a member of the Church of Scientology, and her funeral was held in the church’s tradition, according to the Daily Mail.
Scientologists believe the body is mortal but the soul is immortal. Because of this, funeral services focus on the future. Scientology services allow friends and family to say goodbye to their loved one, while also celebrating their life and “end the cycle” of mortality.
A message is read at the service, reports Daily Mail, which gave details about funerals in Scientology:
They are generally held in Scientology chapels and officiated by a Scientology minister. Passages are read from the religion’s founder, science fiction writer [L. Ron] Hubbard.
The officiant recites a lengthy reading, written by Hubbard, in which he addresses the deceased person by name and encourages them to move on to the next life.
One poetic passage says: ‘From century to century / From age to age and on / We go in march along / The path that leads / Forever up the countless ticks of time. We crawl, we walk, we fly, We win. From here and evermore /The heritage of all our lives and spend it once again.’
“It’s a pretty basic ceremony,” professor Stephen Kent of the University of Alberta, told E News. “Scientologists like to hold them in Scientology chapels, officiated by a Scientology minister … the body is relatively unimportant. It’s the thetan that is attached to the body that is the focus. The purpose is to wish the thetan well on its future journeys and luck in future incarnations.”
Sources: Daily Mail, E News, TMZ / Photo credit: TMZ