Explain the major purposes of the funeral service. 

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While different religious traditions and different cultures have their own view of the religious service, we can assess that the purpose of the funeral service is to facilitate "The religious or other rites conducted immediately before final disposition of the dead human body."  The funeral service is an opportunity for the living to honor the deceased.  It is an occasion that is marked with varying emotional responses to the reality of death as well as the departure of the living.  

The funeral service varies between cultures and religious expressions, but its purpose is to offer an opportunity to appropriately bid farewell to the deceased.  Some prefer a "memorial service" as opposed to a funeral because of its emphasis on a celebration of the life of the deceased.  The chief difference between a memorial service and a funeral is that the body does not have to be present.  In a funeral, the deceased's body is present.  Many believe that the funeral service is a critical process in the process of understanding and comprehending the immensity of death.