Death is a consequence of the fall into sin (see Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12). The coming of life incarnate into our world of death signals the death of death and the ultimate victory of life. Jesus meets death and grief head on (see Luke 7:11-17; Mark 5:35-43; John 11:1-44) and transforms it by His own death, burial, and resurrection, thus giving us life.
Christian funeral services boldly and confidently announce that because of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, we have hope of eternal life with Christ (see Romans 6:1-11). The funeral service is intended of those who departed this life in the Christian faith. A Christian funeral service is not appropriate for those who by words or actions seemed to have renounced the Christian faith. Hymns and music in the funeral service should reflect Christian confidence, trust, and hope in the resurrection of the death and the life everlasting; favorite popular songs of the deceased are best played as either part of the visitation or the reception following the funeral. A eulogy is not the best Christian tradition, however pre-approved written messages of Christian condolences may be given. The focus of the service is on Jesus and the gifts that he gave the deceased and continues to give us who remain.
Pastor welcomes the opportunity to visit with someone for whom death seems near. Providing pastoral care at life’s end can be very helpful for the person dying as well as for those who love her. In the rite of the Commendation of the Dying, the Christian hears the accounts of Christ’s suffering and death and sees his dying in light of the Savior’s death. This rite offers the opportunity for the confession of the faith, as well as the confessions of sins before death. The pastor will apply the Gospel in all its sweetness and comfort.