A Protestant is a member of any of the several church denominations that denied the universal authority of the Pope and supporting the reformation principles which believed in justification by faith, universal priesthood of believers, and the supremacy of the bible as the basic and the guidelines for the Christian journey in life. They emerge around 16th century and strongly support evangelism. All these are in opposition to the Roman Catholics doctrine. Protestant funerals take different forms. Some believe in the act of burial while some believe in cremation.
Family involvements, denomination, circumstances surrounding such death are factors affecting the form of funeral that the family will embark upon. Most times the whole process is design by the pastors in conjunction with the family. Most protestant clergy don’t follow a particular book of worship during the funeral. The Corpse is usually prepared before the final event. This serves as a mark of passage from life to death and the mode of preparing a corpse by protestant is usually by embalmment. After embalming the corpse, the clothes and the body are usually washed. The clothes worn on the corpse has no restriction on the type or the shape.
The time and removal of the deceased varies, depending on the family and the day of removal is not also restricted by the church. The clergy must be notified as soon as possible because courtesy mandated the quick notification. The role of the clergyman is very in important in the final passage and burial. The functions of the clergy are to visit the family, friends so as to discuss with them and also gather more information about the deceased. The plan and the request of the family in regards to what they want and how they want the funerals to be done must be discussed during such clergy visits.
Casket is another important aspect, this is because what each family want differ and there’s no restriction on the type. The caskets can either be open or closed and most times it is usually closed before the concluding aspect of the funeral. When the deceased is placed in the casket there are some protestant that allows visit to sides of the casket by the friends and other family members to pay a last respect to the deceased. Among the respects include the sending of gifts and flowers to indicate their feeling towards the deceased.
The sermon and the final funerals either in the church or other place as required by the family usually involve preaching of the sermon that focus mainly on the meaning of death and Christian view of resurrection. The message can also talk about the life, achievement and lessons from the deceased. The sermon can then be followed by prayers and songs before the burial or cremation. The funeral cortege usually also depend on the family but most cortege is as follows, escort, followed by the clergy, then the casket bearers, casket coach, family of deceased and finally the friends.
The final aspect is the Committal service and it is also determine by most family or the clergy. The order of services is as follows, procession to the graveyard, placement of the caskets in the grave by the bearers and the use of sand by the clergy and the children, lastly the benediction and dismissal. Cremation is an act of burning the corpse of the deceased and it is usually carried out by the Greeks and the roman in an open pyre. Protestant with the belief that God can resurrect easily a bowl of ashes support cremation but their participation involve the building of modern crematoriums.
Courtney from Study Moose
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