Atheist Funeral Service Rituals

Atheist funerals — usually quite similar to humanist funerals — are becoming more and more common. They are appropriate memorials to those who lived their lives without religious affiliation and reject the typically religious views associated with life and death.


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Hindu Beliefs on Dying and Death

Balinese Cremation TowerHindu death practices follow a similar overarching pattern with some variation by family tradition, caste, or sect. The family is the most important part of a sacred funeral rite.


Pentecostal Funeral Service Rituals

Pentecostal funeral customs are similar to other Christian funeral traditions. The service traditionally takes place at the church, but it may also be conducted at a funeral home or at the site of the grave. In the past it has been the custom to wear black at Pentecostal funeral services. However, white is more frequently being used to symbolize the Pentecostal belief in the resurrection of the body.


Unitarian Universalist Funeral Service Rituals

Unitarian Universalist rituals are called memorial service, whether or not the deceased’s body is present. Most services take place at the church or a funeral home chapel within one week of the death, but may occur up to one month following death. The family determines the best time to schedule the memorial service.


Wiccan Funeral Service Rituals

Wiccan funeral customs and burial traditions encourage individuals to make their wishes for a funeral known well in advance of their death. In this way, they are able to specify the type of burial they want. Many times Wiccan customs may not be honored by other family members, so Wiccans are encouraged to have a fellow coven-mate or a lawyer listed as the executor of the will.


Salvation Army Funeral Service Rituals

Members of the Salvation Army refer to death as a “promotion to glory” for fellow Christians. They believe that although the physical body dies, the spirit or soul of a Christian continues living in another dimension with God called heaven or “glory.” Because of these beliefs, Salvation Army funerals are characterized by sadness and grief but have underpinnings of hope and joy.


Moravian Funeral Service Rituals

Moravian funerals are similar to many other Christian traditions in that they are characterized by both grief and joy. Members of this faith grieve the loss of loved ones, but they believe that through salvation eternity is ever hopeful. Moravian believers are often heard saying that the deceased has “entered into the immediate presence of the Savior.” This is an indication of their belief that life and death are both blessings.


Ásatrú Funeral Service Rituals

Because Ásatrú (meaning “belief in the Gods”) is an ancestral polytheistic religion focused on deeds, the religion’s funeral customs involve remembering the deeds of the deceased and retelling fond memories. Followers do not fear death, because they do not believe in a painful or torturous afterlife. When a loved one passes, they are believed to enter a place of joy, rest, and healing.


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