What Is The Typical Order Of A Funeral Service?
How long does a funeral usually last

Funerals are a time-honored tradition that can be traced back centuries. Though the specifics of each funeral may vary, some elements are typically included in every service. So, what is the typical order of a funeral service? This blog post will outline the specific order of a funeral service, from start to finish. If you are planning a funeral and want to know more about what to expect, this post is for you!

Typical Order Of A Funeral Service

A funeral is a sad occasion, but it can also be a time of celebration and remembrance. The order of the funeral service usually goes something like this: 

Welcoming guests as they sit down and then opening prayer:

A funeral service typically begins with a period of visitation, during which family and friends gather to pay their respects to the deceased. The officiant will say a prayer to open the service. A prelude may follow this.

Musical Prelude

A funeral prelude is music played before the funeral service. The opening allows the family and guests to enter the room and find their seats before the service begins. It also gives the family a chance to say their final goodbyes to their loved ones privately. The prelude typically lasts about 15-20 minutes. 

Most people choose to play classical or sacred music during the prelude. However, you can play any music that you feel reflects the life of your loved one. Some people even choose to play a recording of their loved one singing or playing an instrument. 

If you are planning a funeral service, you will need to decide what type of music you would like to have played during the prelude. You may want to consult with the funeral director or officiant to get some ideas. You may also want to ask family and friends if they have any suggestions.

Once you have selected the music, be sure to let the person who will be playing it know what you have chosen so that they can practice beforehand.

Scripture Readings

After the prelude, scripture follows. A funeral service typically includes several scripture readings. These readings are usually chosen to comfort the grieving and offer hope for the future.

The most common scripture reading is from the book of John, Chapter 14, verses 1-6. This reading offers comfort by assuring those grieving that they will see their loved ones again in Heaven. Other popular scriptures include Psalm 23, which assures us that God is always with us, and Psalms 103:8-14, which reminds us of God’s love and mercy.

Many other beautiful scriptures can be read at a funeral service, and the selection is often based on the preferences of the deceased or their family. Whatever scriptures are chosen, they can offer solace and hope to those who are grieving.

Obituary Reading

An obituary is a notice of someone’s death, usually published in a newspaper. It often includes a brief biographical sketch and details about the person’s life and accomplishments. Obituaries can be written by family members, friends, or colleagues of the deceased. 

Obituaries play an essential role in the funeral service as they help to remember and celebrate the life of the deceased. They can be incredibly moving and provide comfort to those who are grieving. If you have been asked to read an obituary at a funeral service, it is essential to be prepared. Here are a few tips: 

  • Read through the obituary several times before the service to be familiar with it. 
  • Practice reading aloud to deliver it confidently on the day. 
  • Speak slowly and clearly so that everyone can follow along. 
  • Use a natural tone of voice – avoid sounding too monotone or sing-song. 
  • If you get emotional while reading, take a deep breath and continue.

The obituary reading is usually followed by one or more musical selections. This is a time for the guests to reflect on the deceased’s life and say their final goodbyes.

After the musical selections, there may be a time for the family and friends to share memories or stories about the deceased. A eulogy often follows this, a speech to praise the dead.


A typical funeral service usually consists of a few eulogies. A eulogy is a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, especially after their death. It is common for family and close friends of the deceased to give a eulogy. However, anyone who the individual impacted can provide one as well. 

Eulogies typically follow a specific structure and order. The beginning usually involves an introduction of the speaker followed by memory or two of the deceased. The middle part is where the meat of the eulogy is and consists of stories and shared experiences between the speaker and the dead.

This is often followed by reflections on what kind of person the deceased was and how they impacted those around them. The end part closure the eulogy and leaves everyone with a final thought or memory of the dead. 

Although it may be difficult to talk about someone who has passed away, eulogies are essential for the funeral service. They allow those grieving to remember the good times with the deceased while also providing closure.

Closing Prayer

The officiant will say a prayer to close the service. This may be followed by a benediction, which is a short blessing.

After the funeral service, there is usually a reception where guests can mingle and share memories. Burial or cremation often follows this.


Can Anyone Give a Eulogy?

Yes, anyone who the individual impacted can give a eulogy. It is common for family and close friends of the deceased to provide a tribute. However, anyone who the individual affected can provide one as well.

What Is a Benediction?

A benediction is a short blessing often given at the end of a funeral service.

What Happens After the Funeral Service?

After the funeral service, there is usually a reception where guests can mingle and share memories. Burial or cremation often follows this.