Like most Christians Baptists follow relatively similar teachings as most of the other faiths who hold Jesus Christ, a figure who lived just over 2000 years ago, as their saviour. Also like most Christians they hold a slightly different view on the process after life has left the human body. While others may focus on deeds, actions and characteristics, Baptists place a large emphasis on using God as their own personal saviour who will offer guidance to heaven with belief as the main qualifying factor. The church has varying differing rituals which can differ widely even within relatively similar streams.
What’s different about a Baptists funeral and lead up to the funeral?
There is little uniformity for Baptists when it comes to behaviour or rituals immediately before death. A holy person (pastor) may be present however like with most religions Baptists simply have family and friends around in the final moments. Once death occurs the appropriate pastor should be informed and planning of the funeral related events should commence. Ordinarily the burial or cremation should happen within a few days of the death and should avoid holy days and Sundays.
Where does a Baptist ceremony take place?
Viewings, visitations and wakes are normal within the Baptist tradition and the precedes the funeral service. The viewings are usually held in the funeral home or in the church however home based visitations are not unheard of. Due to the sheer level of variety between Baptist traditions (each church can make its own rules and traditions) their can be a large difference between services and the atmosphere and theme can differ in the extreme even in a small area.
What normally happens at a Baptists funeral and what do non observers need to know?
The degree of variation does mean that it would be a wise decision to consult with someone involved in the planning of the event if you want to do or say something personal as many Baptist services focus primarily on the religious life of the deceased. After the funeral service the burial or cremation will take place (although cremation can actually take place before the service), this is usually followed by a post service reception where family and friends get together to remember the life of the deceased. All in all Baptist ceremonies can be varied however they do usually keep the discussions and commemorations to either the viewings or the post funeral events with the religious service remaining relatively sombre. Baptists usually wear dark tones in terms of clothing but flowers are acceptable.