There are many denominations in Christianity that identify as Protestant, and each domination will have its own particular funeral customs. As a whole, most Protestants believe that by having faith in Jesus Christ and rejecting sin they will be able attain eternal life with God in heaven after they die. Protestant funerals can take place either in a church or at the funeral home, overseen by the minister, and the focus of the funeral is on the celebration of the life of the deceased. There are usually readings from the Bible, a short sermon by the minister, and a eulogy by a close family member or friend. A Protestant can be either buried or cremated, depending on their wishes.
People of the Catholic faith believe that when they pass away, their souls will go either to heaven, hell, or purgatory, depending on how they spent their life on earth. At the end of time, when Christ returns, many Catholics believe the bodies of the dead will be resurrected. A Catholic funeral almost exclusively take place in a catholic church. While a prayer vigil may happen the night before at the funeral home, the funeral mass will be held in church and will be overseen by a priest. A person who is Catholic can be either buried or cremated, but in either instance their remains must be interred in a grave that has been blessed by a priest or deacon, and the Rite of Committal performed.
Like Protestantism, there are several types of Christian Orthodox. As a whole, the Christian Orthodox Church believes that entrance to heaven is dependent on living a holy life similar to that of Christ. A Christian Orthodox funeral starts with a wake, that can last from one to three days, where the Book of Psalms is read by family members and prayers are led by the priest. The funeral service will take place in a Christian Orthodox church, with the casket open at the front of the church. A priest will lead the funeral service, and once the service has been completed the casket will be closed and will go to the cemetery, along with the priest and the mourners, for burial. Cremation is not allowed.