The 5 Purposes of a Funeral

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, July 3, 2023

Funerals and memorial ceremonies have existed throughout human history and for good reason. They help us navigate the first few steps of the grieving process, and help us find closure in the loss of our loved ones. But more than that, they are a ritual that helps us prepare for the next stage of our lives, living without the one we lost. This article will discuss the 5 purposes of holding a funeral or memorial service, and why they are important.

Accepting Reality

Denial is the first stage of grief. Our minds do not want to acknowledge that they are gone. In order to begin healing, we must recognize that loss. A funeral or memorial service helps us accept that our loved one has passed. While a funeral symbolizes the end of life, it is also a new beginning. The beginning of our grief journey, and a new chapter in our lives. Funerals help us accept the unfortunate reality of our loss. 


Funerals help us in our grieving moments, by bringing friends and family together. Once gathered, we share memories, sing songs, listen to readings, and look at old photos. This helps us focus on the good times, and celebrate their life. This helps us transition our concept of the deceased to one of memory, rather than one of presence. In doing so, we move closer to truly accepting that they are no longer here.

Supporting Each Other

Funerals gather those in mourning together to support each other. When we feel at our lowest, having friends and family to support you can be vital. Mourners can come together and find a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to. Funerals allow friends and family to actively support those closest to the deceased.

Expressing Emotions

Emotional acceptance is also an important step in the grieving process. Many people can feel numb, or try to bottle up emotions. However, funerals help us release these feelings. Grieving together as a community makes it easier for us to confront our emotions and let them out. 

A New Chapter

For better or worse, a funeral marks the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Funerals help us take the first step into this new chapter. They help us mark the change. Additionally, funerals can help us put our own lives into perspective. How do you want to spend your remaining days? What changes will you have to make now that your loved one has passed? Is there anything that you want to change for the better? Taking steps towards these new changes helps us work through our grief, and eventually come out on the other side of it.

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource Center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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