American missionary Lorenzo Warriner Pease commented on the customs and costs of a burial in Cyprus:
Mr. Pierides told me yesterday that on the death of an infant it was the custom to take it to the burying ground without any procession and deposit its remains in the grave. That it is not customary to make any expense on the occasion, nor to give to the poor. ‘Oh, it is nothing but a child’ is the common feeling and expression. When however, a grown person is buried the case is different. Then alms to a considerable extent are given to the poor either before or soon after the corpse leaves the house, who are of course expected to pray for the rest of the departed soul. He says that Mr. Marino paid about 300 piastres on the death of Mrs. Marino. A female here produces no small expense. Besides the mourning clothes, which Franks wear, it is expected that they will give a larger quantity of candles to the spectators, large and white to the more respected and smaller to the poor, all of wax and expensive. Then after that the alms to the poor and the fees to the priests bring up the rear. I asked Mr. Pierides if he had heard any observations on the subject of our not giving candles; he said no, that the people seemed to take it for granted that as such is our custom, it is as good as theirs and as such to be respected. He only had heard some remarks made on the composure with which we followed the little ones to the church and even to the grave’s mouth. This is not the custom nor would anyone be able to show such calmness.