As is customary in Mediterranean countries, the dead are buried very quickly following death. In the last century they were frequently buried on the same day, a practice which, together with the primitive medical knowledge of the time, may have led to the premature burial of the merely comatose.
Graveyards are usually situated on the edge of a town or village, and not around the church. The funeral service is usually, although not always, held in a mortuary chapel in the graveyard.
The coffin frequently remains open until after the funeral service, perhaps because of the problem noted in the first paragraph. Wreaths are carried to the graveside on long poles.
Great latitude is allowed the family in the placing of mementoes of the dead on the graves and in the design of tombs.
A memorial service takes place at the graveside on the third, ninth and forty days after death. On four special "Soul Saturdays" during the year, kollyva, a mixture of boiled wheat pomegranate seeds is eaten in church and at the gravesides in honour of the dead.
Since arable land is at a premium in most parts of the bare stony land of Greece, most people are buried in the ground for only three years. They are then exhumed in the presence of the relatives, and the bones placed in a tin box in an ossuary. This may be in a specially constructed family mausoleum, or in a common municipal ossuary. If the body has not decayed, it is reinterred for a further period.
In former times it was believed that a body which had not decayed after three years house a vampire, and drastic measures were taken to prevent its wandering.
The problem of space would be solved by the practice of cremation, but the Orthodox Church opposes this on the grounds that a body anointed with chrism (at Baptism/Confirmation) should not be destroyed. As a result, there is not a single crematorium in the entire country.
Read about a Greek Baptism
Read about a Greek Wedding
For more about the ceremonies and customs of the Greek Church, read Between Heaven and Earth: The Greek Church by John L. Tomkinson.