How do you conduct an Armenian funeral service and graveside?

Funeral services are permissible on all days of the year except on Sundays.

The Armenian Rite is 3-fold, consisting of;

The Wake Service (Dan Gark), which although traditionally performed in the home of the deceased, is in America performed at the funeral home. The casket may remain open, and the priest will usually place a wafer (Nushkhar) in the hands of the deceased when possible.

The Church Service is necessarily performed in the Armenian Church or in a church/chapel only where NO Armenian Church is available. As we are spiritually reborn from the womb (Baptismal Font) of the church, as our Mother, she naturally becomes the final place of our dismissal from this earth. In order to prevent unnecessary or inappropriate displays of behavior taking place inside the Church, the casket remains closed in the Church. There is absolutely NO permission for lay persons to speak or offer eulogies in the church. Only an ordained clergyman may speak during the Church Service.

The Graveside Service at the cemetery. The priest will bless the earth and seal the crypt of the deceased until the glorious day of Christ's Second Coming and the Resurrection of the Dead.

A Note on Cremation: According to the canons and traditions of the Armenian Church, as well as the tenets of the Christian religion, cremation of the body should be strongly discouraged. Not only was our Lord Jesus buried as was the custom of the people of God, but throughout the history of the church ONLY pagan religions practiced cremation.