Hello, my name is Damian. Until last year, I had never planned a funeral. However, when both of my parents passed away within weeks of each other, I suddenly had to plan two. I was experiencing such grief that I didn't know where to start. Thankfully, my friend put me in touch with a fantastic funeral home who guided me through the entire process. They looked after the bodies, recommended a church and helped to arrange transport for guest. I decided to start this blog to help others who need to plan a funeral. I hope you find the information useful.
There are certain divisions and variations in the Orthodox Church with each division following its founders' cultures. However, certain beliefs remain the same throughout the church, especially concerning death. Orthodoxy views death as the separation of the deceased soul from his or her body. Since the body of a Christian is regarded as a Temple of the Holy Spirit, it is usually considered sacred. For this reason, whenever an Orthodox Christian dies, great respect is often paid to the body. For this reason, orthodoxy has certain principles and traditions concerning funerals. If you are attending such a funeral, it is important to maintain your etiquette and respect to those traditions and here is how you do it.
Before The Service
If you intend to bring flowers to the Orthodox funeral, it is advisable that you send the flowers to the church before the funeral. This is because at the graveside, a brief prayer ceremony is often conducted. During the ceremony, flowers can be placed on the casket. However, only flowers that were sent to the church are used. Sometimes the bereaved family may suggest certain memorial contributions instead of flowers so be sure to find that out before sending any flowers.
During The Service
It is during the service that you need to maintain your etiquette the most to show respect not only to the bereaved but to the deceased too. First, if you are arriving late, it is important that you enter quietly so that you don't interfere with the service, which is usually held in a church. The casket will in most cases remain open throughout the service for viewing. If you must view the body, pausing briefly when you are in front of the casket will be regarded as a sign of respect.
In a worship and prayer session in an orthodox church, the typical posture is standing. In most cases, any seats will be reserved for the infirm and the elderly. For this reason, you may have to remain standing throughout the entire service. In some churches, seats will be provided for everyone. In such churches, however, you need to find out if they have pews. If they do, you have to be keen on when to stand and sit. Some of the instances where it would be respectful for you to stand are when the priest is giving blessings, when the Gospel is being read, when priests are entering the church, when the Holy Communion is being distributed and when being dismissed at the end of the service. Remember that audio or video recording the service and taking pictures is inappropriate.
After The Service
After the service and burial, there will be a post-event reception where a mercy meal will be offered. The meal is usually a way to celebrate the deceased's life. While this is optional, it is advisable that you attend. There will be a mourning period after the burial. Within this period, it's best not to send any gifts to the family.Share