As yet another faith in the post-Lutheran tradition Methodist is known by many as a denomination commonly grouped with Protestantism. Like many other Christian faiths the tradition sees life as a gift and predicts a day when their prophet, Jesus Christ returns to earth in order resurrect the dead (bring the dead back to life). As a relatively new faith by Christian standards (the faith was formalised in the 18th century by John Wesley and others) it has relatively new traditions and rituals. For the most part the Church maintains a Christian tradition with a high emphasis on charity and personal development.
What’s different about a Methodist funeral and lead up to the funeral?
Unlike Catholics who have the “last rites” ritual there is little or no specific tradition for Methodists to perform at the bedside immediately before death. Once death occurs the norm is to contact the local pastor to organise the funeral and arrange the events, timetable and ceremonies to come. Methodists are relatively relaxed around the usual questions of organ donation, cremation, burials and the general proceedings relating to the funeral. In most instances the only real stipulation is that the religious service be lead by a pastor (holy person) . While this is true of most cases local traditions and customs can be important so remember to discuss this with your local pastor.
Where does a Methodist ceremony take place?
Viewings do happen and are a normal part of the process, their planning is usually down to the family. The funeral services are relatively open affairs which may take place anywhere from the family home to the church to the graveyard. While traditions do vary their is usually at least some level of choice when it comes to deciding where the event takes place. Like many Christian traditions the service may include hymnes, some music, religious teachings and a eulogy or eulogies. For those use to Christian ceremonies there are not a lot of surprises.
What normally happens at a Methodist funeral and what do non observers need to know?
Churches and places of worship can be a little intimidating for non-religious people however for the most part Methodist places of worship don’t put any real special demands on funeral goers. The usual Christian ceremony with an equal mix of God and talk of the departed is the norm, along with this it’s also unusual for non Methodists to be excluded. Like with most Christian traditions the norm is to wear sombre colours to show mourning. Flowers are also allowed however at times families can wish for charitable donations in lieu (in place of) of flowers.