Methodist Funeral Traditions
August 15, 2015
In these modern times, there are changing views among different Methodist churches and communities about Methodist funeral traditions.
Methodists all believe that those who believe in Christ will spend eternal life with Him. Methodists believe that life is a wonderful gift from God. And they believe that death takes them into the presence of the Almighty.
When a Methodist church member dies, the family or a friend contacts the pastor. He then plans put in place plans for the funeral according to Methodist funeral traditions.
After the death of someone from a Methodist community, the funeral service is the time and place to allow the bereaved to remember the life of the deceased and to offer them into the care of Christ.
Either a family or the funeral director will contact the minister of their church to make plans for the funeral.
Well loved Hymns Are Sung
The church service of those who belong to the Methodist community is very short, lasting for about an hour. During the service, the congregation sings hymns and say prayers.
The hymns are in the traditional Methodist hymn book. However, sometimes the family members will choose certain choruses or hymns which they believed the deceased person would have appreciated.
Usually in a Methodist service, the minister starts with commending the deceased person into the hands of the Almighty God. Psalm 130 from the Bible is a usual choice for a reading followed by a thanksgiving prayer and a hymn. Then, usually, the well known ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ follows. There is also time in the sermon for eulogies.
Music in Methodist Funeral Traditions
Sometimes a person with musical talent sings a song or plays a musical instrument as a tribute to the dead person.
According to Methodist funeral traditions, the funeral service for Methodists usually takes place at their local Methodist church. Some Methodists prefer it to take place in the more intimate venue at the retirement home. Others decide to hold the service at the crematorium or the funeral home’s chapel.
If the deceased person opted for cremation, there would likely be a service at the local church and then a shorter service at the crematorium. Both burial and cremation are usual funeral process choices for Methodists.
Methodists are Looking at ‘Green’ Funerals
Contrary to Methodist funeral traditions, many Methodists look at ‘green’ funerals in an attempt to be environmentally friendly even in death. The funeral director is always able to give valuable advice on the types of funerals that Methodists opt for.
Green burials have a low impact on the environment, and the burial sites have life in them in the forms of trees and shrubs. That is far better than cold, grey ‘dead’ spaces. With ‘green’ burials, bodies aren’t embalmed, and coffins are made from non-toxic materials which can decompose. Elaborate coffins take far longer to biodegrade.
Life Goes On
According to Methodist funeral traditions, the service is followed by a gathering of family and friends in the church hall after the service. Some people ask everyone to meet at a restaurant while others invite just a few people to their home.
The idea behind these gatherings is to help the grieving family to accept that even though they are grieving, the harsh reality is that life goes on relentlessly.
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All info was correct at time of publishing