Though there are many Christian denominations, each with
slightly different beliefs, they follow similar principles and
share similar funeral traditions.
First, it's customary for the body to remain at a funeral parlor
for visitation or a viewing. As a visitor, you may come and express
your condolences to the family and stay and visit for the full
viewing period - but it's not required.
Funeral services focus on praying for the soul of the honoree,
and offering comfort and support to the grieving family. Prayers
based on scripture from the Bible are read, and hymns are read and
Catholic funeral services are nearly always held in a church,
and it is very much about ritual. Nevertheless, the service can be
personalized with the eulogy and selection of music. Eastern
Orthodox and Episcopalian funeral services are similar in that
Protestant funeral services can be held at a church, funeral
home, gravesite, or another location. In many Protestant services,
friends and relatives may be asked to share memories of the
Appropriate gestures of sympathy include sending a note of
condolence; sending a Mass card, which you can get at a Catholic
church; sending flowers to the family's home or the funeral parlor;
or sending a donation to a charity designated by the family.