6 Ways to Plan an Interfaith Funeral
Interfaith funerals are becoming much more commonplace in our world. For years we’ve welcomed and provided services for people of multi-faiths and ethnic backgrounds throughout the Philadelphia area and suburbs. The struggle is to satisfy the wishes of the deceased and properly allow the survivors to get the closure they need. Clearly in an interfaith relationship, you have both decided to honor your beliefs, so it is equally important in planning their funeral service and burial.
Here at Goldsteins’, we understand that those in interfaith marriages often need guidance and assistance to plan their loved one’s funeral service. Our experienced funeral directors will provide appropriate clergy, understand the traditions and culture of your family, and work with you on a funeral service that is ideal for your loved one.
Here are some guidelines we can help you with to plan an interfaith funeral:
- Consult with your family:
The first step in planning an interfaith funeral is to consult with your family to understand your loved one’s wishes and beliefs. Ask questions about the deceased’s spiritual or religious beliefs, and their preference for any religious or cultural traditions that should be included in the service.
- Understand the burial choices:
It is easier when you know before a funeral what your loved ones wishes are for burial, whether it be in a Jewish or Christian cemetery or if cremation is their preference. If they wanted to be buried with their ancestors or with family members who are still living, where is that location and have any previous arrangements been made. There are a lot of options for non-secular cemeteries. Discuss this with your funeral director or a local cemetery.
- Involve religious leaders:
Contact the leaders of each faith that will be represented at the funeral. They can help guide you in planning the service, and may also be able to lead prayers, readings or offer other spiritual support. We have established relationships with area clergy to provide single or joint services depending on your family’s expectations.
- Create a program:
Create a program for the service that outlines the order of events and includes any readings, prayers, or music that will be included. It’s important to have this available in advance for guests, so they know what to expect during the service.
- Respect religious customs:
Make sure that each religious custom is respected during the service. If there are any conflicts or issues with a certain tradition, consult with your family and religious leaders to find a solution that honors the deceased and respects all beliefs.
- Allow for personal tributes:
Give attendees the opportunity to share personal tributes or stories about the deceased. This can be done through a eulogy, sharing memories, or through written messages.
Remember, the most important thing is to honor the deceased’s beliefs and wishes, while also respecting the beliefs of those in attendance. With sensitivity and planning, an interfaith funeral can be a beautiful way to celebrate the life of a loved one who had a diverse spiritual or cultural background. Remaining true to your faith and your loved one’s faith, especially as it relates to death and dying, is the pinnacle of respect and love.
Contact us for more information on pre-planning or at-need interfaith funeral services at 215-927-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.