What Is A Church?
A church is a building where Christians gather to pray or worship God. Many devout Christians hold important life events at a Church to mark an occasion in the presence of God. Some examples of this are church weddings, baptisms, and church funerals. Read on to know more about what goes into a funeral at a church.
What Is A Church Funeral Like?
Most church funerals tend to follow a set pattern, with a few variations depending on the personal preferences of the deceased’s family. There is first a viewing in an open casket, which takes place a few hours before the service at the church. Following the church service, there is often a private graveside service at the time of the actual burial, usually attended only by a fraction of the people at the earlier service, mostly close relatives and friends of the deceased.
While it is not necessary for every Christian to have their funeral within a church, it is what most traditional Christians opt for since they would like to be in the presence of God during such a momentous time. People who get a funeral at church are most likely devout Christians, or at least their families tend to be.
Christian Funeral Rites
The purpose of a funeral in Christianity is to commemorate the life of the person who has passed away. Here are some rituals you are likely to witness at a Christian funeral, listed in no particular order:
- Religious readings: A minister or other member of the clergy may be called upon to read passages from the Bible or other religious scriptures at a Christian funeral.
- Religious music: You might witness a choir performing religious hymns at a Christian funeral.
- Wake: Some Christians also hold a separate informal gathering days before the actual funeral known as a wake. The purpose of a wake is for the bereaved and other well-wishers to gather and mourn collectively while supporting each other through this difficult time.
- Religious decor: At some Christian funerals, you might also find the general decor to be in accordance with the beliefs of the deceased, e.g. you might see a cross placed on the casket, or a floral cross held up on a stand.
Ultimately, as in most other funerals, a Christian funeral can vary in the way it is conducted to suit the preferences of the deceased.
How Can You Host A Funeral At A Church?
You can get in touch with your local church and book a day for your funeral service depending on the availability they have. Most people do prefer to have a funeral as soon as possible after the death since even embalming can only help preserve the appearance of the body for only a certain period of time. Separately, you will have to contact and book a minister if you wish for them to do a reading of scriptures or deliver a eulogy, though some people choose to have the family or friends of the deceased deliver the eulogy directly.
Planning a funeral can be somewhat overwhelming, so make sure you have a checklist of everything that needs to be organized. On the day of the funeral, it would be best for you to arrive at the church well in advance to double check whether everything is in place. This could include confirming the attendance of the minister or any other members of the clergy that you have called upon to participate. You would also need to check on floral arrangements, the casket delivery, and confirmation about the burial plot you have chosen.