Traditional (Christian) Funeral Services

Overview

Published: 12/11/2009

by Funeral Home Resource Team

Photos

While there is an increase in personalized funerals , cremation and low cost funerals you'll find that the majority of American Christian funerals follow a traditional pattern.

The majority of funerals in the USA still follow this traditional pattern:

1. a viewing or wake
• It's quite common for a wake (sometimes called a visitation) to be held during the two days prior to a funeral. The wake offers mourners a chance to say goodbye to their loved on, while gathering together for support. Sometimes the casket will be open and people can actually touch or speak directly to the body. A wake can be either public or private, so if you're organizing one you'll have to be clear about your expectations for family, friends and acquaintances.
2. a formal service in a funeral home or church
• Funerals are typically more formal and dictated by religious rites. Memorial services are more personalized and open-ended. The funeral home you are working with can provide the space, flowers and officiant if you wish.
3. use of a hearse to transfer the body to a cemetery
• Most funeral homes will have a hearse, or horse and buggy option (in some locations) to transfer the deceased from the funeral home to the cemetery.
4. burial or entombment of the remains
• The deceased will either be buried in the ground or a mausoleum. If the body was cremated, they can be interred in a cemetery, given to the family or scattered according to their wishes.
The advantage of choosing a traditional funeral is that it's easiest to arrange, as it follows a pattern so families know what to expect. A traditional funeral makes many of your choices easier because there's established etiquette for the different stages of the ceremony.