Main features of a Christian funeral

A Christian funeral liturgy is unique to the deceased, like most religious funerals. Prayers, a sermon, readings, hymns, and occasionally music or poetry are part of the good at Christian funeral services, which is typically held at a church, crematorium, or cemetery (see our guide to popular funeral songs and famous funeral poems). Additionally, as a memorial to the deceased, a friend or family member may decide to give the eulogy.

Prior to the funeral:

  • Vigil

Before the funeral service itself, friends and family come together. They share recollections, read prayers, and sing hymns at this place, which is often thought of as a celebration of life. This ceremony typically takes place at the funeral home, a Christian church, or even the home of the grieving family.

When the funeral service is held:

  • Pall-bearers will bring the coffin to the room or burial site once guests and relatives have arrived at the location. A biblical verse will be recited while a priest or minister covers the coffin or casket with holy water.
  • Hymns and prayers – There will probably be a number of hymns and prayer readings during the service. The deceased’s relatives will have chosen these, possibly after receiving recommendations from their loved one before they passed away. Here is our collection of well-known funeral hymns.
  • Psalms – Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd”) is frequently read during funeral funerals.
  • At a Mass, a priest or minister will administer Holy Communion and the Eucharist Prayer. Masses are not always part of Christian funerals, but when they are, they typically extend the funeral service by around 30 minutes.
  • Rite of Committal, which a priest or minister conducts at the place of ultimate rest .
  • Burial – this is the final opportunity for friends and family to say goodbye. Some mourners will lightly dust the coffin with dirt.

After the funeral:

  • Reception or wake – mourners will congregate at the home of the bereaved family to express their sadness, give their condolences, and recite Psalms. Attendees may bring flowers or gifts to offer to the deceased person’s family, and food and drink are frequently supplied.

A Christian funeral often lasts an hour or so. If or not the funeral includes a mass will determine whether this is shorter or longer.

No one is required to bring anything to a funeral, but sending flowers or a letter to the bereaved family can be a thoughtful gesture. Instead of flowers, the family of the deceased may request a charitable donation at some funerals.


To a Christian funeral ceremony, it is customary to dress smartly in sombre colours. It is also polite to dress modestly, which means that the knees and shoulders should be covered. There is no requirement for mourners to cover their heads.