What Happens at a Jehovah’s Witness Funeral Ceremony?

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A funeral for a person of the Jehovah’s Witness faith lasts approximately 15 to 30 minutes and typically occurs within a week of the person’s death. Food is offered to the family before or after the service, and flowers are present in the funeral hall. Funerals take place in a funeral home or in a Kingdom Hall, the place of worship for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Funerals are officiated by a congregation elder, who speaks during the service. Cameras and recording equipment are not allowed. Scriptures are read, and prayers are given during an additional graveside service. Guests not of the Jehovah’s Witness faith may participate in services. Friends are invited to visit the bereaved family after the funeral.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a Christian denomination with some beliefs that differ from mainstream Christianity. As of 2013, the faith had almost 8 million adherents involved in evangelizing. Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for going door-to-door to preach and give out literature, including “The Watchtower.” Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to receive blood transfusions or serve in the military. They do not believe in the Christian doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the soul’s immortality. They do not participate in observations of Christmas, birthdays or Easter. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses consider nonreligious society to be corrupt, and many limit their interactions with non-believers.