Why Hold a Funeral?
For thousands of years, communities have commemorated their dead
with funeral rituals. It is a tradition that is found in every
culture and society on earth. These ceremonies help communities to
retain hope throughout a difficult time, while bringing order and
structure to life's most unsettling experience. It remains a
meaningful rite of passage.
By the time the funeral is arranged, there is nothing further that
can be done for the deceased. Instead, the funeral focuses on the
important psychological, spiritual and social needs of the
The absence of an appropriate funeral service can worsen what is
already a very difficult time. Friends and family members may be
left feeling isolated and unable to express their sense of loss. A
well-planned and relevant funeral service can bring a great deal of
comfort to family members. Providing spiritual direction at a time
when it is needed most is one of the significant benefits of a
The primary role of the funeral service is to encourage acceptance
of the death. Healing and understanding occur as a natural part of
the grief journey, but recognising that a loved one will not return
must come first. A funeral also enables family members to give a
place in history to their loved one. Remembering a friend or
relative through shared experience enables survivors to find
comfort in circumstances that no longer include this person.
The benefits of holding a funeral service extend to the wider
community. The process of re-integration into the community is an
important aspect of reconciling grief and begins with the funeral
Most importantly, an appropriate service creates a context for the
feelings of grief and loss that are experienced. The funeral
ceremony can help you to validate these emotions as a wholly
natural part of the grief journey.
The loss of a loved one can be a devastating event but growing
through that loss is an important aspect of the recovery. The
importance of the funeral lies in this painful, but invaluable,