Whether you’re planning for yourself or for a loved one, the funeral service is one of the most important elements of a person’s final arrangements. With the opportunity for great personalization, the funeral service can truly reflect the uniqueness of the life it honors.
Regardless of whether you or your loved one have opted for burial or cremation, the funeral or memorial service fills an important role. It can:
- Honor, recognize and celebrate the life of the deceased.
- Allow friends and family to say their last good byes.
- Provide closure after the loss of a loved one.
- Allow friends to console the family of the loved one.
So what is a funeral? In general terms, a funeral is a gathering of family and friends after the death of a loved one that allows them the opportunity to mourn, support each other and pay tribute to the life of the deceased. It often consists of one or more of the following components:
When considering final arrangements for yourself or a loved one, one of the first decisions you might make is whether you prefer burial or cremation. This decision often influences other important considerations, such as elements of the funeral service and type of cemetery property.
Funeral Service Options
A formal or informal ceremony or ritual prior to burial, a funeral service often provides a sense of closure to family and friends. Although your faith or culture may dictate some elements of a funeral service, you may want to personalize other elements of the service. At a funeral service, the casket or urn is usually present and you may choose to have the casket open or closed.
Visitation Or Viewings
Typically held the night before, or immediately prior to the funeral service, the visitation – also called a viewing – provides a way for friends and acquaintances to pay their respects and offer condolences to your family.
As with the funeral service, you may want to decide if you want an open or closed casket, should one be present?
Memorial Or Celebration Of Life Service
At a memorial or celebration of life service, a casket or urn is usually not present. Otherwise similar to a funeral or visitation, a memorial service gives family and friends a time to come together in your memory and celebrate your life.
In the month after a funeral, it is customary to send thank you notes to friends and family who served as pallbearers, made memorial donations, or sent flowers, food or other condolence gifts.
For your convenience, you can order acknowledgment cards through your funeral home. Although it may seem difficult to come up with the appropriate words for these thank you notes, remember that just a few lines are all that is needed to show that you and the family appreciate the kindness that has been shown.