If you are planning a funeral for someone who is Greek Orthodox, you may want to contact the clergy from your local Greek Orthodox church. They can help you set up the funeral service at the church. However, you may want to rely on a funeral home for some aspects of the service as well. Here's a look at how a funeral home can help with a Greek Orthodox funeral in particular:
1. Substitute for the Sanctuary
If there is no Greek Orthodox church in your area, a funeral home can stand in as a substitute. Most funeral homes have small chapels, and if you have a priest from another town come in, they can use the chapel for the funeral service. In many cases, they can also bring in specific religious objects to make the chapel feel more orthodox.
2. Trisagion Service
Even if there is a Greek Orthodox church in your town, you may still want to use the funeral home for some aspects of the funeral rituals. Many Greek Orthodox believers say a Trisagion Service before the actual funeral. This short service consists of several prayers and a song, and it traditionally takes place the evening before the funeral. If the church is booked with other events, you can do the Trisagion Service in the chapel of the funeral home.
Similarly, it is often customary to have a viewing of the body at an Orthodox funeral. Some believers are fine with just having the open casket available before the funeral. However, in other cases, mourners want a long visitation session with the body. If you fall into the latter camp, you may want to use the funeral home for this aspect of the rituals as well. Depending on your preferences and the options the funeral home has available, you may want the open casket on display for a day or two before the funeral or just for a few hours the evening before.
Finally, most adherents to Greek Orthodoxy do not believe in cremation. However, without cremation, you have to bury the body quickly, and that can make it hard to plan a funeral. If you want to give family members and other loved ones time to travel to the funeral, you may want to have the body embalmed. Regardless of which church you plan to have the service at, you may want to hire a funeral director to do the embalming for you.
For more ideas on how a funeral home can help you plan a Greek Orthodox funeral, please contact a funeral director.