If you are not a religious person, attending the funeral of someone who did have a practising Lutheran faith can be a rather daunting thing to do. You may feel out of place or awkward in a religious setting if you're not sure what to do or how to behave.
With this in mind, here's a helpful guide on what to expect at a Lutheran funeral.
Research before the funeral
The majority of religious funerals are held in places of worship and follow the traditions of the particular faith of the person who has died.
Carrying out some research beforehand into the customs of the faith concerned can help you to feel comfortable and at ease when you attend. You will be able to act respectfully and appropriately on the day, without risking offending any of the other mourners.
Lutheran funerals usually include worship in a church setting with the coffin and deceased present. The minister overseeing the service is called the 'pastor'.
During the service, there will be hymns, a litany, Old and New Testament readings, a reading from one of the Gospels, the Apostle's Creed, and the Lord's Prayer.
An important part of the service is the taking of Holy Communion. This is open to everyone at the service, not just for regular communicants. There may be many other people attending the service who are unconnected with the deceased.
Tributes and eulogies
Eulogies are generally not delivered at a Lutheran funeral service, because Lutherans believe in salvation by grace, rather than based on what the deceased has done during their life. However, you may still be asked to deliver a tribute, which simply contains details about the deceased's life of faith. The pastor will help you to prepare a tribute if you are asked to give one.
After the funeral
Rather than a funeral wake, Lutheran funerals are often followed by a formal luncheon or reception. An event like this allows the mourners to deliver their own further tributes or eulogies if they wish, which may be helpful if many of the deceased's relatives and friends are not Lutheran practitioners themselves.
There is no formal dress code for Lutheran funerals. You may choose to wear black if you wish or simply a smart suit and a black tie for men. Sometimes the deceased will leave specific guidelines as to what they would like mourners to wear at their funeral.
If you are invited to attend the funeral of a person who followed the Lutheran faith, you now know what to expect. For more advice and guidance, have a chat with the funeral director or the pastor at the church where the funeral service is to be held.Share
25 January 2017
Irving Berlin famously sang, "The song is ended, but the melody lingers on..." Anyone who has been in charge of funeral arrangements knows the importance of striking the delicate balance between reverence and celebration which helps us remember the true heart of a person. We admire incredible examples of funerals that faithfully commemorate a person's life such as those for Nelson Mandela and Joan Rivers. Unfortunately, funerals for our own loved ones often end up being generic or "cookie cutter" because sadness overwhelms us. This blog is designed to help by outlining the ways that funeral directors can personalise a service and providing imaginative ideas.