Death can be difficult to grasp, and loss is difficult to process. The funeral makes death and parting more graspable. To gather around the coffin to give thanks and say goodbye is a step on the road through sorrow. Many can find help in the familiar ritual of the funeral service. A funeral is a space for those who were closest to the departed to bid farewell.
A church funeral is also a public gathering. It is a coming together that marks that a life has come to an end. At the departure, we show respect for the deceased, for the life that has been and for the life still to be lived. In the funeral we give thanks and remember. There is room for crying and for laughter. We can also surrender to God what was not as it should be between us. The funeral service is a prayer for reconciliation, future and hope.