This is just fascinating! Here are things from funerals I have attended, all being held in central/ southeast Virginia, mostly rural, most of the deceased being Baptist or Methodist. My SIL's mother was born in Greece and her funeral was unique in that the local Greek Orthodox priest and the Southern Baptist minister jointly did the funeral service for her. I had never seen a censer - senser? - being used before, the Greek orthodox priest walked around with that as part of the service.
Depending on whether the deceased was active in a church or not, and number of mourners expected, are factors in whether the family has visitation and service at a funeral home (usual for those without a church home) or at the church they belonged to. In my experience, usually the visitation with the family/ mourners is held at the funeral home in the late afternoon and/ or evening, and the actual funeral service is held at the church, followed by the burial at nearby cemetary, followed by a dinner at the church hall. In the small rural community where I grew up, there would be a small brown paper bag - yes a paper bag! - put on the counter at the local grocery store with "Donations for Ham for Smith family" written on it. People would put money in the bag, and then it would be given to the ladies of the church kitchen committee who came to get the ham - or chicken, or whatever - to prepare for the meal after the service. Any money left over was given to the family. This was done when my dad died, and I used the left over money they gave us - about $15 I think - for stamps and stationery for the thank-you notes.
In the Southern Baptist and Methodist churches I have attended, the meal after the service is JUST as important as the service itself, all the ladies (mostly ladies, some men) of the church bring a dish and there is a huge spread in the church hall. Everyone who attended the service is welcome. The kitchen committee of the church keep the food coming out, the iced tea (gotta have ICE TEA, and nowadays you see just as much unsweet tea as sweet tea) plentiful, if there are younger children or babies they get passed around or run around to visit with all the extended relatives and neighbors. Ham, fried chicken, meatloaf, homemade yeast rolls, lots of different vegetables, usually 2 or 3 different kinds of jello salads, and lots of cakes and pies for dessert. When my dad died, the meal was legendary, we had someone bring pecan pie, and chocolate pie, and 2 different pound cakes - it was an impressive feast!
At cousin Jimmy's funeral last month, the visitation and funeral were at the funeral home, since their church had no air conditioning and it was 100 degrees. The burial was at his church cemetary, near his parents graves. The dinner afterward was at a neighbor church just down the road a piece and the ladies of THAT church were busy in the kitchen managing all the donations of food from cousin Jimmy's home church AND the hosting church.
At DH's Great-Aunt Lena's funeral, HER church had just started vacation bible school and the church hall was all decorated so we did not have the meal there. Instead, all the church folks got the food to Aunt Lena's old home, which is a BIG house with big wrap-around porch typical in old southern homes - and everyone who wanted to eat went over there and enjoyed themselves with a great meal and sharing memories.
There is usually not a formal receiving line for the bereaved, instead folks will come up to speak to them at the visitation or at the dinner.
People don't have to go to all the events. Some people only go to the visitation, esp if they have to work during the day and can't take off. The funeral takes place during the day, some families try to have it on the weekend esp if they have lots of family that otherwise can't take off work or that have to travel to get to funeral.
Oh, the service - usually the family sits up front together, and close friends too. There will be organ or piano music, sometimes the congregation sings a hymn if it is in church or there is a soloist or choir that will do a religious song, sometimes a favorite song of the deceased. Prayers, bible reading, then the minister will speak. Sometimes close friends or family will get up and say some things. Then off to the burial, where there are just a few chairs, usually the immediate family sits and some older relatives or older attendees will sit. People who have trouble walking will usually not go to the burial, esp if there is a ways to walk from road to burial site. My dad belonged to the Masons, and the Masonic service part took place at the graveside.
The dirt will be covered by artificial grass carpet, and actual burial takes place after everyone leaves.
My dad's funeral was sad, of course, because he was deceased. It was also a GOOD gathering, and fun in a way, because we got to see so many family members and everyone had a good time laughing and talking about their memories of my dad. And my kids were smaller and folks enjoyed seeing them.
I have also seen some folks call the service a "Homegoing Service" instead of a funeral - because the person is going o their "Heavenly Home".