In recent years, it seems like funerals and funeral homes have come to follow a standardized formula of ritualism or religion that everyone seems to know. There are distinct features that distinguish a Christian funeral home from a secular funeral home according to FuneralFide Christian Burial expert, Justin Searls.
There is often familiar organ music playing in the background. A select Scripture passage or reference is recited to the audience to bring comfort. Also, there are the family and other loved ones that speak on behalf of the departed and the closing benediction. These characteristics tend to define the standard funeral home and funeral service.
Three central factors set a Christian funeral home apart from its its secular counterpart:
- A Christian funeral home ushers in an atmosphere of celebration rather than a farewell.
Philippians 3: 20-21 (CSB) says “Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.
As Christ followers, we have the understanding that our brothers and sisters in Christ are not gone. We know that they are alive and are given a body of incorruption and glory in Christ.
- A Christian funeral home will emphasize biblical preaching based on the love of God from God’s Word rather than a regular speech.
Romans 8: 38-39 (CSB) says “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
There is a supernatural feeling and presence in the atmosphere when the love of God is truly present. The love of God brings a peace from Heaven that knows no bounds and serves to satisfy the hearts of others.
- A Christian funeral home will be characterized by the hope of the Resurrection of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-17 (CSB) says the following:
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
For we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
The Resurrection of Jesus is the most important fact of the Christian faith that leads to eternal life. Without the Resurrection, we have no hope.
It’s evident that there are central characteristics that make a Christian funeral home stand out above the others. When one enters into a Christ-centered funeral home, that individual will feel the love of Christ and the peace that only comes in knowing that a loved one is still alive with a new and glorified body. Without Christ, there is no life.
About the Author
Justin Searls is a Christian professional writer, author, social commentator, ordained minister, and FuneralFide’s Christian aftercare contributor. He writes a weekly blog focusing on social issues in the Church and he has been published by multiple newspapers. Justin is happily married and lives with his wife in West Virginia.