A friend of mine died a couple of weeks ago. He died of a stroke. He was a professor and he was to retire soon. I think he was 63 or 64.

I have spoken to his wife and daughter on the phone and offered my condolences. He was suffering from high blood pressure and taking some medications. He didn't go to gym training like me. He was a lazy man. I told him the following when he was taking tablets for his high blood pressure.

People who take medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc can get a stroke or heart attack at any time.

[Some doctors have told me the above.]

I knew he needed a walker during the last 6 months.

I am going to the funeral on 2nd of September.

In Christianity the funerals are combine with wakes. Hindus and Buddhists don't have wakes.

I am not welcome to the wake because the house is a small one.

Their house can't have 100 or 200 people. So the wake is only for some close relatives. His wife told me she would invite me for a separate visit some times later. She got my mobile phone number. So she will call me. I will go and visit them later on.

1. I will attend the funeral.

2. I will participate in the funeral.

3. I will attend the wake.

4. I will participate in the wake.

My question is on the words 'participate in'. Is it fine to say participate in the funeral/wake ?

I know it would be fine to say I participated in a conference, debate, discussions, etc.

I know for sure it would be fine to say I am going to his funeral as well as the funeral will be held on 2nd of September 2011. Even to say the church service will be held in the Cathedral is fine.

Do you participate in a church service? I am not sure.

After 2nd of September I think it would be fine to say ' I went to his funeral'.
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I think this all boils down to the use of the word participate. One generally attends a service/wake/funeral. To participate, one would need to do something like read a lesson or a poem, present a eulogy, play a musical instrument, sing a solo, be a pall-bearer, take up the collection, be an usher.

Does this answer your question?
Thanks Philip

Yes, you have answered my question.

A native speaker would say attend a funeral/wake.

After the 2nd of September I think I could say the following:

I went to his funeral OR I was at his funeral.

Please tell me.
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Both are fine. However, the second could seem incomplete, as if you want to add more information:

I was at his funeral when..

Is it fine to funeral ceremony will take place on 2nd of Septmber?

For me to use the word 'ceremony' sounds odd when it comes to funerals.

We don't celebrate funerals, do we?

We have wedding ceremonies, inaguration ceremonies, etc.

We are pleased to have ceremonies. We grieve in funerals.
I hope Philip or someone will look at my latest post.
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I would like to hear from you all again on my latest post.
I would like to hear from you all.

Yesterday I attended the funeral.
Rotter -- usually we would say "funeral service" (or just "funeral"). "Funeral ceremony" sounds a bit odd to me too, but it's not because "ceremony" should only be used with happy events. "Celebration" should only be used with happy events, but a ceremony can be either festive or solemn. You could say, for instance, "I attended a memorial ceremony for the victimes of 9/11."

RotterWe don't celebrate funerals, do we?
No, we don't. However, some people in recent times have started calling the gathering after a person's death a
"Celebration of Life" rather than a funeral. (The idea is that rather than grieve the death, you celebrate the fact that the person had a fulfilling life.) It seems odd to me.
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