Understanding the Christian Funeral
Christian faith has a strong belief in the afterlife, therefore much of their life is directed at reaching eternal peace in Heaven. They believe that Jesus was the son of God and came to earth to teach through his actions and lessons. These writings, collectively known as the Bible, make up the scriptures, the Old and the New Testaments. In the New Testament, Jesus sacrificed himself to his enemies and was crucified. His sacrifice was made to pay for the sins of all mankind. True believers in the Christian faith and Jesus will be forgiven for all sins as a result of His sacrifice and gain eternal life in Heaven.
The funeral is traditionally held in a church, though it may also be held at a funeral home. The service is usually led by a priest or minister who will deliver a sermon likely to include commemorating stories or fond memories about the deceased.
Prayers and hymns are read and sung throughout the funeral and attendees are encouraged to read or sing along at appropriate times. Scripture readings from the Bible are also a common part of the service.
The atmosphere is typically respectful and somber. People should dress accordingly and traditionally wear black. Men usually wear a suit and tie or at least a sports coat and tie. Women should wear a black skirt or dress or pantsuit. If black clothing is not available, attendees should wear the darkest semi-formal clothing they own. Some women continue to wear hats although it is no longer required. Men should not wear a hat in church.
Flowers are always appreciated as long as they are appropriate to a somber church setting.