The Amish Funeral:

Funerals are generally held in the home of the deceased. The funeral service is simple, with no eulogy or flowers.

Caskets (coffins) are plain wooden boxes, made within the local community. 

Most Amish communities will allow the embalming of the body by a local undertaker familiar with Amish customs, but no makeup is applied. 

The deceased is usually buried in the local Amish cemetery. Graves are hand dug. 

 Gravestones are simple, following the Amish belief that no individual is better than another. 

 In some Amish communities the tombstone markers are not even engraved. Instead a map is maintained by the community ministers to identify the occupants of each burial plot. Children are buried in unmarked graves or have small headstones that lie flat on the ground. 

 Families do not observe a formal memorial day, nor do they go back to visit the grave.

In Amish faith after death, the spirit has left the person's physical body. Mourners still wear black. The immediated family enters a year of mourning.  

 There are three different times when friends and family can view or visit the deceased

  • First viewing - A view held at the home a day before the funeral
  • Second viewing-- A viewing during the funeral, when the open casket is on display at the home.
  • Third viewing - A viewing at the gravesite. The final viewing is held before the coffin is lowered into the ground. 


The American Funeral:

 A funeral may take place at either a funeral home or church.

Caskets are usually elaborate, meant to commemorate and comfort the dead on their final journey.

The burial service will immediately follow the funeral, in which case a funeral procession travels from the site of the memorial service to the burial site.


After the funeral service, if the deceased is to be buried the funeral procession will proceed to a cemetery if not already there.

 If the deceased is to be cremated the funeral procession may then proceed to the crematory.

If the decedent served in a branch of the Armed forces, military rites are often accorded at the burial service.

They have one last opportunity to view the decedent's body and say good-bye; the immediate family are sometimes the very last to view their loved one before the coffin is closed.

 This opportunity can take place immediately before the service begins, or at the very end of the service.

Funeral customs vary from country to country. In the United States, any type of noise other than quiet whispering or mourning is considered disrespectful.

Amish Traditions

Focus - The focus is on praising God, not on commemorating the dead. 

Timing - An Amish funeral and burial is generally held three days after death.



Location - The Old Order Amish do not have churches, so funerals are held in two locations. The smaller service in the home of the deceased. The body is taken to a separate place, usually a barn for the larger service.



Language - The funerals are conducted entirely in Pennsylvania Dutch a form of German. 

Speakers - The Amish feel that the focus of the funeral is on God, not on remembering the dead. Their custom is not to eulogize (speeches specifically given in praise of the deceased).




Music - Ministers will read hymns, but it won't be sung. There is no singing at the Amish funeral.





Flowers- Flowers are usually not present. Sometimes kerosene lanterns are used in its place.



American Traditions:

Focus- It is more on the Decesaed rather than God.

Timing- A funeral is held according to the family's choosing which may be a few days after the time of death, allowing family members to attend the service.


Location- A funeral may take place at either a funeral home or church.


Language- Mostly conducted in English

Speakers- a relative or close friend will be asked to give a eulogy, which details happy memories and accomplishment. Sometimes the delivering of the eulogy is done by the clergy. Clergy are often asked to deliver eulogies for people they have never met.


Music- Include prayers; readings from the Bible or other sacred texts; hymns sung either by the attendees or a hired vocalist. Church bells may also be tolled both before and after the service.


Flowers- During the funeral and at the burial service, the casket may be covered with a large arrangement of flowers, called a casket spray. If the decedent served in a branch of the Armed forces, the casket may be covered with a national flag.



Make a Free Website with Yola.