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The Mormon Funeral Service


The funeral service of a Latter Day Saint or Mormon funeral is solemn and a grieving occasion but it also projects a spirit of hope based on the anticipation of reunion with the deceased after this life. They are usually held in a Latter Day Saint Chapel or commonly referred to as (LDS) chapel or a mortuary under the direction of the bishop of the ward. Funerals open and close with sacred music and prayer, and sometimes involve congregational singing or even a choir.

The funeral includes reminiscences and eulogies as well as talks about the Atonement, the Resurrection, life after death, and related doctrines that comfort and inspire the bereaved. Some families choose to have members or friends of the family talk about the life of the deceased or sing an appropriate hymn. It is traditional for the church service to begin with a prayer on behalf of the bereaved family.

Following the funeral, a simple graveside dedication service is held in which only family and intimate friends attend. One who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood (given authority, responsibility, and power by the Church of LDS to act in the name of Jesus Christ), usually a member or close friend of the family, dedicates the grave asking God to protect it as a hollowed resting place until the resurrection. Some countries and the local law may dictate cremation rather than burial, but in the absence of such a law, burial is the preferred method of body disposal because of their doctrine. The decision is ultimately left to the family of the deceased. Circumstances also may dictate a memorial service or a graveside service only.

Burial of the body usually follows a funeral or graveside service. The body of a deceased member of the Church who has received the temple Endowment (and the ceremony is taking place at an LDS temple) should be dressed in temple clothing. Relief Society sisters dress deceased women, and priesthood brethren will dress the men. When it is not possible to clothe the body, temple clothing may be laid over it. Mormon funerals have very specific death rituals in accordance with the doctrine of the church.

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