Christian Funeral services generally serve the same function as other funerals: celebrating the deceased’s life and providing comfort and support to those left behind. The traditional Christian funeral usually has An opening address by the pastor or priest. Depending on your religion, the funeral service can either open with a brief prayer, a message that demonstrates support to the grieving, or a combination of the two. The service may also include hymns or other traditional funeral music. It may be a short service or a longer one depending on the faith and the length of time left to celebrate life.
Suppose you are a regular churchgoer and you are planning to commit to a Christian Funeral program. First, what is a Christian burial? A Christian burial differs from a traditional funeral in several ways. Second, there is no expectation of an alternative state, whether heaven or hell, after death.
The concept of a Christian funeral has roots in the early centuries of the Christian religion. At that time, the body was considered a temple, and the soul lived with God through prayer, scripture reading, and the Interment. Christian funerals typically begin with reading scriptures to praise the deceased, followed by a period of silence in which the mourners share memories of the deceased. The deceased is not expected to return to heaven.
There are some commonalities between Christian funerals and other traditional funeral services. The deceased is not asked to return to heaven, as the bible describes, but many Christians believe that if they did return, they would still be in their right state of mind and share unique stories with the living family. Some traditions of a Christian funeral service also include an offering of flowers to the family and friends of the departed.
Another difference between Christian burials and regular burials is the customs surrounding the bodies. The Christian traditions usually have them cremated following the service and burial, while the non-religious traditions have them buried. This burial usually follows a week of celebration for the family and friends of the departed. Family members may light several candlemarks on the body after the burial, believing that these will guide the deceased’s spirit to the afterlife.
The Christian burial is celebrated in the morning by having wake celebrations and sending eulogies to those who could lose their lives in Christ. In addition, attendees at the wake party may give small gifts to those attending the funeral service. The most notable person who will be remembered at the wake is the dearly departed. Wreaths and lit tributes are placed on their gravesides. Friends and family members will then join together around these gravesites to say a short prayer.
The body is not present at the wake; however, some traditions surround its removal from the funeral home following the wake. After the ashes are removed from the gravesite, it is handed over to a minister, who reads a brief obituary. This serves to begin the process of writing a final obituary for the deceased. Following this, attendees may bid farewell to the wake by playing favorite songs and sharing special memories.
Christian funerals are not as strict as other types of ceremonies. Most follow more of a spiritual approach. However, some, especially the more conservative Christians, do take place. The Christian Burial rite is different than the general cremation practice. Wiccan and other religious traditions, such as the seven-day mourning period, can also occur before or after the burial.