A funeral represents a purposeful opportunity to reflect on the meaning of a life that has been lived and to determine the impact of that meaning for the family and friends. There is no single proper funeral service. It is a time for human sharing in its deepest sense. You and the ones you love are at the very center of the process, and the choices you make will determine its significance for you. As you participate in the planning of the funeral service, you help create a meaningful experience for everyone.
Complete Funeral Service
Traditionally, the funeral will be a Complete Funeral Service. This includes a family or public viewing of the deceased. Following this will be a service, typically in the church or at the funeral home. This would be followed by in or above ground burial of the casketed remains. Caskets selected may cost from several hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on the material the casket is constructed of. Many cemeteries require that a minimum grave liner be used to encase the casket when earth buried. These minimum liners are constructed of concrete and are designed to hold the weight of the earth, maintaining the cemetery property. A sealed vault may also be used. The vaults are typically constructed of concrete and or metal, and are designed to protect the earth over the grave from sinking in around the casket over time.
The Graveside Service can be another selection. This often follows a time of visitation at the funeral home. The casketed remains are then be transferred to the cemetery where a graveside ceremony can take place, followed by the burial.
Complete Cremation Service
The Complete Cremation Service is another common selection. This service is just like a Complete Funeral Service except cremation will follow instead of the casketed burial. This service can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or a rental casket. Following the viewing, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping.
Immediate Cremation Service
The Immediate Cremation Service can be arranged as an immediate disposition of the body, but is usually followed by a memorial service at a church, funeral home or other location. A Memorial Service is one where the body is not present. We recommend that if you select an immediate cremation, that you are allowed a time, if possible, to privately view the body as a family. If the viewing can be done in a matter of a few hours after the death then embalming will not be necessary. If there is to be a long delay (more than 8-12 hours) then embalming would be encouraged. State laws vary as to when embalming becomes required. Viewing of the deceased is a very important step in acknowledging that the death has occurred. Having some type of service or ceremony is also a key step in achieving a healthy recovery from the loss of a loved one.
Personalizing the memorial service is a special, and often important way, to say good bye to a loved one. It is important to acknowledge the life that has been lived and to celebrate that life. By offering services and memorialization features that are special in some regards to the loved one, a unique life can be remembered and honored in an individualized way that is comforting to family and friends.
How Your Funeral Director Can Serve You
Funeral Directors want to help people complete the relationship with the one who has died and to provide a climate that encourages each person to give and receive emotional support.
There are a number of things that require attention immediately after a death. Most all funeral directors are able and ready to help with these needs, and will do so at any time of day or night. The funeral director's main function is to assist you with the necessary details of the funeral process. Among the services funeral directors provide are:
- Arranging funeral plans
- Securing necessary permits and death certificates
- Care and custody of the body
- Coordinating all details with the clergy
- Arranging the music you have selected
- Placing obituary and funeral notices in newspapers
- Assisting in arranging the burial or cremation
- Assisting in arrangements for cemetery space, grave opening and closing, flowers and monuments
- Arranging transportation for you and the members of your family prior to, during, and after the funeral
- Supervision of the funeral or memorial service
- All necessary arrangements for transportation, funeral service, and burial if the deceased is to be sent to a distant location