Although Warsaw did not replace Krakow as a place of royal burials, it gained an important role in royal funeral ceremonies as a place of death or a stop on the way of the funeral conduct. In the case of the earliest royal funeral ceremonies, the city served only as a station on the way to carrying the body from the place of death to Krakow. The bodies of Zygmunt August and Stefan Batory were led through Warsaw, and their coffins were displayed in the St. John collegiate church. The convoys with the coffins of Cecylia Renata, Władysław IV, Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki and Aleksander Karol Vasa also passed through the city. In all these cases, the Warsaw part of the ceremony involved the lying in state at the Royal Castle. From the funeral of Anna Jagiellon, to the funeral of August II (with the exception of Jan Kazimierz, who died in France), the Royal Castle served as a place for the exposition of the dead body of the king or queen. Based on historical accounts, one could conclude that the castle had one particular room that was more often than others converted to a funeral or parade chamber after the death of a king, queen or their children. Unfortunately, from the preserved testimonies it is not possible to clearly determine which room exactly performed this function. However, it is possible to identify what kind of decoration was set out for the lying in state. It consisted of similar elements: an elevated platform with a canopy, a place for royal insignia, a cross and altars. The whole was complemented by hanging coats of arms, candles in candlesticks, and sometimes when the coffin was exposed, a portrait of the deceased. The character of the interior was determined by precious fabrics and objects made of expensive ores. Only in a few cases in Warsaw were decorations and castrum doloris set in the church where the coffin with the body was to be exhibited. They were erected in the St. John collegiate church for Anna Habsburg, probably in the Church of the Visitation Sisters for Ludwika Maria, in the Jesuit church where Karol Ferdinand Vasa was buried, and in the Capuchin church for the funeral of John III. In addition to the lying in state, Warsaw’s funeral ceremonies also involved the transport of the royal remains to the place of burial. Several types of conducts took place there – conducts bringing the bodies into the city; private conducts; conducts carrying the bodies into the Royal Castle in case of deaths in suburban residences; conducts taking body parts to the place of burial; conducts of family members who were buried in the city. The most official and lavish funeral processions were those carrying the royal bodies to Krakow. The ceremony of moving the coffins out of Warsaw took place according to a repetitive scenario and order, and the convoy followed a fixed route. The ceremony began with prayers, masses and speeches said by the body in the castle’s hall, its courtyard or, less frequently, in one of the churches in Warsaw where the coffin was temporarily deposited. They were followed by a procession that travelled to the city walls and then to Ujazdów, where the first station was designated. Krakow’s funeral processions differed in the number of participants in particular groups, and the presence of deputies and ensigns with banners not only of the Kingdom and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but also of voivodeships and districts. The ministers and officials carrying the signs of their office were more numerous than in Warsaw. Krakow’s conducts were also distinguished by the presence of the “figures” in the robes of rulers and the archimus.
Warsaw is also connected with burials of parts of royal bodies (organs). In the basement of the Jesuit Church are the hearts of Constance of Austria and Cecilia Renata, in the Church of the Visitation Sisters the heart of Ludwika Maria Gonzaga, at the Camaldolese that of Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki, and in the Capuchin church the heart of John III. The city was also associated with the exposition and sometimes the burial of some of the royal children or their organs. The last royal burial of the 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the funeral of Jan III Sobieski in the Capuchin church, took place entirely in Warsaw.
Apart from the Warsaw churches connected with the burial of body parts or family members, other funeral ceremonies but without the presence of the body, took place in other churches in the city, its suburbs and the district of Prague. Throughout the entire funeral period masses and prayers for the dead were said there, and sometimes a special decoration was prepared in their interiors. This was common with many other cities and churches of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.