The order of the service

The funeral service follows the order specified in the Lutheran Agenda Book, with several options existing for the programme. The family should agree on the specifics with the officiating minister. Ministers and organists are always happy to help with the selection of hymns. Besides funeral hymns, suitable music includes hymns of special meaning for the deceased and the family or hymns suited to the time of the ecclesiastical year.

The mourners remain seated throughout the service, except during the actual words of blessing, which are listened to standing up.

The organist is responsible for the musical prelude and the closing music, as well as for accompanying and leading the hymns. You can agree with the organist in advance on any particular pieces of music you would like played. If the family wishes to have any other musical performances, such as solo singing, they must arrange the performers themselves.

The proceding of funeral service

Hymn (or instrumental prelude)
Invocation and greetin
Introductory words
(Confession and forgiveness)
Scripture reading and a message to the bereaved
Words of committal
Lord’s Prayer
Concluding music (hymn)

During the funeral service the pastors pours sand three times on the coffin - a sign of the cross may be drawn with the sand, and says the words of committal. The congregation stands during the scripture reading and words of committal. Flowers are laid by the coffin indoors, that may be done in the begining of the service before the prelude or after the benediction. If the flowers are laid in the beginning, an additional hymn or another music may precede this action.

If the the deceased is buried in a coffin plot immediately after the funeral service the coffin is carried out of the church during the concluding music. If the deceased is going to be cremated the coffing remains in the front altar as the mourners leave the service.

In the mass on the sunday following the funeral the name of the deceased is included in the intercession of the congregation. The name of the deceased is also recited in the service on the All Saints' day (Pyhäinpäivä) and a candle is lit for their memery. The family and friends of the deceased are especially welcome to these services.

The complete description of the funeral service can be found here. The funeral service can also be held as a funeral mass with the inclusion of the Holy Communion.