To express your sympathy with the loved ones of the deceased you can use expressions such as Mein herzliches Beileid (“My heartfelt condolences”). Germans will often send a card with a black perimeter to express their condolences or even money to help pay for the funeral, which is usually very expensive in Germany.
At the funeral itself wreaths of flowers are placed on the grave as a symbol of the eternal sphere where the deceased has passed on to. More and more people in Germany are now cremated and buried in an urn because the small grave in a cemetery is not so expensive and needs less looking after.
At the funeral the deceased is honoured by a speaker. Here, the custom is that nobody says anything negative about the deceased. During and after the funeral the life of the deceased will often be described in brief terms or what they meant to family and friends. In most cases, the family and friends will sit together over a simple meal and spend some time recalling the deceased. In German this wake is sometimes referred to as a funeral feast (Leichenschmaus).
Besides traditional Christian funerals with a pastor in a church, there are increasing numbers of purely secular funerals with a speaker and no reference to the Christian faith. This is when the deceased and their family did not belong to any church.