People who will be attending the funeral enter the funeral space. Quiet handshakes and other gestures of sympathy are appropriate.
The casket is brought in, followed by the family of the deceased.
The pallbearers escort the casket into the funeral space.
The rest of the people stand, out of respect, while the casket and family enter.
The family sits in the front row or rows.
"Please be seated. This afternoon we are gathered to celebrate the life of William Black, whom many of us knew as Billy.
The Book of Proverbs tells us that the memory of a good person is a blessing, and we have all been blessed to have had Billy in our lives...."
The person who is officiating at the funeral speaks about William Black, recounting major milestones in his life and mentioning his family.
Invitation for people to share memories
Usually one member of the family begins, telling one or more happy stories illustrating the love and personality of the deceased. (This sets a positive tone for remembrances.)
Anyone who wishes to speak comes forward.
When it is apparent that everyone who wishes to be heard has spoken, a family member (or the person officiating) closes with a brief word of thanks to the speakers.
It is very helpful to have the lyrics printed in the memorial folder.
Words of dismissal and blessing
"A poem attributed to David Harkins says
'You can shed tears that he is gone, Or you can smile because he lived [....] You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want: Smile, open your eyes, love, and go on.'
Go now in peace, rejoicing to have known William Black and the love he shared."
The casket is taken out.
The pallbearers escort the casket out of the funeral space.
The casket is followed immediately by the family of William Black.
After the family, the rest of the people who attended the funeral leave.
(The pallbearers have loaded the casket into the hearse while people were leaving the funeral space.)