Types of Services
A typical Christian service would have -
* The Bidding - being made welcome, invited to remember the deceased, give thanks for their life and grieve their loss.
* The Word - what the Bible and church says about death, this can be expressed in prayers, readings from the bible or hymns. Also a summing of the life, work and personality of the deceased.
* Prayer - all are invited remember their relationship to the deceased and review their own lives in relationship to God. Also there is usually reference to the death and resurrection of The Lord which expresses grief, sorrow for wrong-doing, remembrance, thanksgiving and the triumph over death.
* The Commendation and Farewell - wish the soul of the deceased to find rest, peace and a life hereafter. Also an opportunity for the bereaved to say their last goodbyes.
* The Committal - when the coffin is lowered into the earth for burial or move behind a screen at the crematorium.
Secular i.e. Non- Religious
It is usual to have a professional Celebrant to officiate over the service, but the service itself can be organised to suit your particular needs.
A memorial service is normally held when the deceased's body is not present.
The body -
* may not have been released by the Coroner or
* it has been buried or cremated elsewhere or
* not recovered from the sea or some inaccessible place or
* donated to medical science
In the case of a "public figure" a funeral service could be for the immediate family and a public memorial service held later to allow other to mourn the deceased.