Medieval funerals combined the accumulation of merit for the soul of the deceased with social display. During the late medieval period funerary practice became more elaborate, formalised and expensive, a reflection of its eschatological and social importance. An extended funeral lasting several weeks, comprising a vigil, procession, liveried mourners, a hearse, heraldic elements, almsgiving and a feast, developed. Several of these elements were repeated a week, a month and a year after death. The late medieval higher clergy shared the same funeral culture as the wealthy laity but with significant differences, particularly greater liturgical sophistication and more generous charity.