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Jehovah Witness Funeral Customs

The Jehovah Witness religion does permit cremation.

Jehovah`s Witnesses Funeral Service are based in the belief that death is considered a state of non-existence, based on their understanding of Ecclesiastes 9:5, "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all".

Witnesses believe that the only hope for life after death is in the resurrection, which they say involves re-creation by God of the same individual with a new body.

Although Jehovah`s mercy is immense - for true believers will be resurrected - it is time to bid the one you cared for farewell for now.

Losing someone to a tragic death is very painful - all that is left are the cherished memories of the happy moments you shared together with your friends or loved one.

Whether you just accepted Jehovah God as your savior or belong to another Christian denomination, one must understand that Jehovah Witness funerals are slightly different from American funeral traditions. Although the differences are not as significant as the ones from an Islamic Funeral, where the body must face Mecca bathed in cotton, you must still pay attention to the details.

A Jehovah`s Witness funeral service is led by a Jehovah`s Witness elder and is seen as mainly an opportunity to preach the message of the Jehovah`s Witnesses. The Jehovah`s Witnesses funeral service lasts only 15 or 30 minutes.

The funeral usually takes place within a week after death. Also, while the appropriate funeral attire may vary among many Christian denominations, in Jehovah`s Witness funerals there is a clear and defined dress code.

At the service, clothes must always be dark and somber. Men wear a suit and tie, and women are expected to dress modestly, but neither needs a head covering.

No video recording is allowed, however, if you wish, you may bring an audio recorder.

The Jehovah`s Witness funeral will resemble a normal Sunday public talk at a meeting of Jehovah`s Witnesses. Services will normally take place in the Kingdom Hall, at the funeral home or other designated Jehovah`s Witnesses place of worship. Guests who are not of the faith may participate in the service to any extent that they feel comfortable.

Jehovah`s Witnesses do not perform traditional Christian funerals and do not believe in doing things to honor the deceased, such as wakes and memorial ceremonies. The Jehovah`s Witness funeral itself will include a brief discussion or speech about the life of the deceased, the beliefs of the deceased, and the Bible`s hope for resurrection. The Bible will be guide for the talk. The talk will be preceded and followed by a song and prayer.

Do not keep your pain to yourself. Share your pain with others because there is always hope. Tell them that Jehovah God will certainly remember their loved one and he/she will be resurrected, for the bible states that he/she will hear Jesus` voice and come back to life, as stated in John 5:28-29. Do not forget to read the bible with them and reminisce about the good times you shared. This will ease the pain in your heart and bring joy to the living ones that are suffering.

At graveside, the scriptures are referenced and a prayer is read. Jehovah`s Witnesses have no particular rituals associated with funerals or burials, and few funeral customs common in the United States are rejected by Jehovah`s Witnesses. However, there are a few differences between Jehovah`s Witness funerals and the funeral traditions customary to non-Jehovah`s Witnesses. These differences reflect the quiet strength, modesty, and simplicity of beliefs of Jehovah`s Witnesses.

Many people want to bring food dishes to help friends and family during this time of mourning. Flowers and food may be offered to the family before, during or after the service, but consider sympathy gift baskets as an option. If you are unsure of what to bring, consider a basket with somber tones and food that does not spoil quickly.

A Jehovah`s Witness funeral may seem less commemorative than other funerals because the believers focus on God and His calling, rather than on elaborate religious ceremonies or political or worldly events. As a result, their rites, including funerals and weddings, tend to be relatively simple and based on Scripture.

Although Jehovah`s Witnesses do not conduct wakes or memorial services, a visit by family and friends afterward is encouraged. Members of the deceased`s family are not expected to have a mourning period or to refrain from working. Even though Jehovah`s Witnesses focus primarily on God`s work on Earth, and try to return to normal lives as quickly as possible after a death, they do honor and remember those who have passed.

Recognition of funeral traditions that follow your faith or differ from your own is important when attending these celebrations of life. Respect is appreciated and shown when traditions are embraced and understood.

Please note that this information is offered as a guide only.
It is not intended as "legal or medical advice." and is not necessarily the opinion of

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May 26, 2016