For Christians, a funeral service marks the beginning of the soul’s journey to the eternal life after death. Funeral services and ceremonies are alleviating, because of the strong belief that the departed soul has finally found a permanent home in God’s place.
Christians view death as an exit from the world of pain and an entry into the world of permanent bliss. It provides some comfort to the grieving family members that the deceased is with God Himself and is enjoying the bliss of heaven. This greatly helps in lessening the grief that death of a loved one causes. The Christian funeral ceremony is conducted accordingly with the same belief.
Usually, a Christian funeral service is conducted by the pastor. They are usually conducted at the church which the dead person used to visit during his or her lifetime. Though a casket is not used in the service generally, but when it is being conducted in a funeral home, casket is generally present. A conventional Christian funeral ceremony does not involve public viewing of the deceased at the time of ceremony.
The proceedings in such a funeral service are more like a memorial, in which devotional hymns and similar prayers are sung and lines from the Bible are read out loud. Then the pastor delivers a message and the attendees join in with a mass prayer.
Then the attendees partake in the grief of the family as well as close friends and talk about their personal experiences as to how the dead person has influenced them and left a permanent impression on their minds. Some families also plan to organize a slide show of photos of the deceased or play a recorded video from the life of the departed.
The last leg of the service is the serving of refreshments at a reception conducted very often inside the church itself. A graveside service is usually not included, but some make an exception to this.