Funeral and Religious Customs of Scientology

Overview

Published: 12/11/2009

by Funeral Home Resource Team

Photos

Scientology has a number of different funeral ceremonies which might be said over the remains of the deceased or, indeed, might be given more as a sermon, or memorial, at a service with or without physical remains present. Scientologists like to hold funeral services in Scientology chapels, officiated by a Scientology minister.

Since they attach fairly little meaning to the physical form, Scientology doctrine does not dictate any required or forbidden treatment of the body after death. Scientologists may have the corpse either buried or cremated. Ceremonies may or may not involve a viewing of the body, and grave markers may or may not be used.

Scientology views the spiritual self, what they refer to as the "thetan" (From the Greek letter Theta), as being the individual, and views the body as a vehicle - the means whereby they interact with each other and the physical universe. The liturgy of a Scientology funeral is as follows:

We look
We find we live
Not once
But on and on
From body's birth to
Body's grave and then
To birth again
And yea to grave again
So to dispose possession
Oft come undone
With livingness.
From century to century
From age to age and on
We go to march along
The path that leads
Forever up the countless
Tick of time.

The Scientology funeral service tends to be focused on thanking the departed for spending time with us. The Scientology Funeral ceremony also generally involves a celebration of the deceased’s accomplishments in life and thanking him for the time spent with those attending.praising or acknowledging life attributes or achievements, bidding them farewell, and wishing them well in their future existence. If the family of the deceased opts for a funeral ceremony, a church official will address the deceased, bidding farewell and encouraging his thetan to take up a new body and a new life through reincarnation. Readings from Hubbard’s works on Scientology are also generally included. There is no discussion on heaven, as Scientologists do not believe they go there after death.

Non-Scientologists are welcome to attend any portion of the funeral services.
The remains of the deceased may be cremated or interred, according to their wishes or those of their family.