When Christian churches first asked worshipers to exchange a sign of peace by shaking the hands of those within arm’s reach the response was one of shriveled embarrassment. The British don’t do tactile. Over time, though, it’s caught on and people now really value it.
It can produce a great sense of togetherness and solidarity when everyone at a funeral ceremony joins hands.
Silence gives everyone a chance to think their own thoughts and muse on their own feelings and memories. If you are having a non-religious ceremony, here is an opportunity for religious people to say a little silent prayer of their own.
If the person who has died had any spiritual views, you may like to offer up prayers which connect with those views.
If the person who died was spiritually neutral, you might like to include some prayers to satisfy those of the mourners who are religious.
If the person who died was an atheist, it will probably be best to leave religious mourners to say their own prayers. A good opportunity is during a silence or while a piece of music is playing.