There’s no one, right way to plan a funeral service. We believe that each funeral should be as unique and memorable as the life it honors.
When planning your own funeral service in advance, think about the way you want to be remembered. Perhaps you’d like a traditional funeral aligned with certain religious or ethnic customs. Or, a celebration focusing on great memories made with family and friends may be your preference. Maybe it’s a combination of both. You can have one service, or several, to honor your life.
Regardless of the service or services you choose to include in your funeral plan, you can personalize them in almost any way imaginable.
For example, consider the following questions:
- Where should the funeral or celebration be held? At your place of worship? At the funeral home?
- Who should officiate the service?
- Will your service adhere to traditions of a faith or culture?
- Do you want a eulogy and who should deliver it?
- Would you like an open or closed casket?
- What music should be played?
- What readings would you like to have read?
- Is there a special poem you’d like shared with the guests?
- Are there any special photographs or other memorabilia you would like displayed?
- Should the decor reflect a particular hobby or interest of yours, such as fishing, gardening or music?
- Should there be refreshments served or a more elaborate party held after the service?
As its name implies, a graveside service may be held at the grave site just prior to burial of a casket or urn and usually consists of final remarks, prayers or memories. A graveside service may occur before, after, or in place of a traditional indoor service.
Most people are familiar with the concept of burial, or “interment”, but may not be aware of the variety of options that are often available. Many cemeteries offer:
- Ground Burial: burial of the casket below ground.
- Mausoleum: a large building that provides above-ground burial spaces, known as crypts, for entombment.
- Private Family Mausoleum: a small structure that provides above-ground entombment of, on average, two to twelve family members.
- Private Family Estate: a small section of a cemetery, usually bordered by gates, shrubbery or other dividers, that allows for ground burial of several members of the same family.
Many people overlook the importance of a cemetery property for those who choose cremation, but permanent placement of the ashes or “cremated remains” is an important part of the final arrangements. Just consider:
- A permanent site gives loved ones a physical place for visitation and reflection.
- The ceremony accompanying the placement of an urn in a cremation niche or a cremation garden in a cemetery provides family and friends with closure after their loss.
- When cremated remains of a loved one are kept with relatives, they can easily become misplaced or discarded through the years. A permanent placement provides future generations with a location to visit.
Some common cemetery placement options for cremated remains are:
- Columbarium: located within a mausoleum or chapel constructed of numerous niches designed to hold urns.
- Cremation Garden: a dedicated section of a cemetery designed for the burial, scattering or other permanent placement of cremated remains.
- Memorial Benches: benches that either simply memorialize a loved one scattered or buried in a cremation garden, or actually contain the remains within.
In addition to funeral services and the choice of burial or cremation, cemetery property – also called interment rights – is another consideration when you’re making final arrangements, either for yourself in advance or for a loved one.
A common misconception that people often have when they purchase the right of interment in a cemetery is that they have purchased the land itself, when in fact what they have really purchased is the right to be interred on or in that particular piece of property.
Cemeteries can offer many options for memorialization. In order to preserve the natural appearance of the landscape, some cemeteries feature headstones that lie flat against the ground called ‘markers’.
Upright headstones, called ‘monuments’, offer another choice for memorialization. Both options come in a variety of sizes, shapes and even colors.
Transporting The Deceased To Another State Or Country For Burial
If you require interstate or international transportation, please advise the funeral home as soon as possible so that they can begin making arrangements with the proper authorities.
Be advised that complying with requirements of other jurisdictions takes time – in some cases a number of days or even weeks.