Everything that has a beginning at some point comes to an end. The onset of life is marked with celebration or jubilation while the end is marked by grief and misery. But the end of life is full of grief and misery. However, people concentrate on mourning and sometimes do not pay attention to the sequence of activities or some may have attended funeral services where the sequences are different hence generating some confusion.
The activities that take place during funeral services are guided by a number of things. The religious beliefs or lack thereof of the deceased and his or her family play a major role in the funeral arrangements and ceremony. In addition, some people make special wishes or requests as to how their funeral should be conducted in their last will and testament. The culture of the community the deceased originates from, their age, their political lives and the circumstances of death also determine the activities to be carried out.
However, there are some common activities that are carried out in all funerals. Every funeral has some sort of service, religious or otherwise, where people give tribute to the deceased, comfort the family and loved ones and in some cases, listen as the eulogy is read. The mourners also get a chance to sign a register that captures their emotions on the turn of events. More often than not, a religious ceremony like a requiem mass is celebrated before the deceased is either buried or cremated.
Different societies dictate different funeral etiquette. However, some things cut across societies, religion and other beliefs. Pretentious and loud wailing is not acceptable in most societies especially if you were not on good terms with the deceased. You are expected to dress in decent clothes with most cultures preferring dark clothes although this is not compulsory. Most cultures do not belief in tainting the name of the deceased although this does not give you room to exaggerate how good he or she was. You are also expected to follow the seating arrangements laid down and respect the beliefs of the family. After the funeral, the family may choose to have a small gathering which you may attend. Too much grief and talk about the deceased may not be what the family expects to hear, therefore refrain from this.
There is a wide range of locations where funeral services can be conducted. For those who believe or requested cremation, there is usually a funeral parlour at the crematory which can be used for the ceremony. In most funeral homes, there is also a parlour for this purpose. Funerals can also be conducted in the church or within the church compound as well as in other religious buildings. Sometimes, the family may opt to carry out a short service besides the grave or they may decide to conduct the ceremony at home. The important aspect to consider in the choice of location is the beliefs of the deceased, his or her wishes and the culture.