Traditional Funeral Services
The Basics of Traditional Funeral Services
A funeral service, whether traditional or more modern (memorial service or celebration-of-life), has two functions: to acknowledge the death and lifetime achievements of an individual and to bring grieving family members and friends together in support of one another during this difficult time.
If you are interested in making funeral arrangements for a loved one, we invite you to call us to begin.
This is often called a viewing or a wake. Guests come to pay their respects to the deceased by viewing their casketed body and spending time with the grieving family. A visitation can occur at any time before the funeral service.
This event commonly takes place at the funeral home, a church, or at the graveside. It can include music, thereading of literary or religious passages, a eulogy, prayer, and the singing of hymns.
Source: Rostad, Curtis, "The Basics of Funeral Service", Indiana Funeral Directors Association, 2014
We are caring cremation experts who promise each family we serve the highest level of:
Courteous, professional service
Our dedicated staff will take care of all details, including prompt filing of required permits and notifications. Accurate completion of these essential documents not only ensures their acceptance by local or state agencies; it guarantees your loved one's cremation will not be delayed.
Safekeeping and prompt return of cremated remains
We know it's important for the families we serve to know their loved one will be coming home as soon as possible. That's why we promise to notify you as soon as their ashes become available, and safeguard their urn until the time you are ready to receive them.
Respectful care of the deceased and timely completion of cremation process
Your loved one will be attended to by certified crematory operators; each of whom has been trained to provide both compassionate care for the deceased, and conscientious attention to detail throughout the cremation process.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of the deceased.
There are many advantages to taking some time to remember the life lived, share stories and laugh about all of the memories. Our team can help you plan a fitting memorial service with or without the cremation urn present, at our facility or in a place of your choosing.
We offer three cremation options; each can be modified to meet your needs:
Traditional Cremation Services
These are much like a traditional funeral. The body of the deceased, placed in a specially-selected cremation casket or a rental casket, is the focal point of the service. A visitation can take place prior to the funeral service and the cycle is completed with the cremation rather than a traditional burial. Once the cremation has occurred, the cremated remains are returned to your family. You can then decide to scatter, bury, or retain the cremated remains in an urn.
Memorial gathering after the cremation has taken place
This can occur at any time after the cremation process. The urn is usually on display at the service, which can take place in any setting preferred by the family.
This involves completion of all required paperwork and the transportation of the deceased from the hospital, home, nursing facility, or coroner's office to the crematory.
Celebration of Life Information
Many families today want a service which celebrates the life of their loved one. We introduce them to the concept of a celebration of life, and provide support in designing a celebration of life that is as unique as the life of their loved one.
We always enjoy working together with families in planning a celebration of life for their loved one. While it can be a challenge to put together an event that both pays tribute to and celebrates the life and spirit of a complex individual, it's also one of the most rewarding things any one of us can do for someone we've loved and lost.
Sarah York opens her beautifully-crafted book, Remembering Well, with the very personal story about how her family chose to pay tribute to her mother. "My mother died in April 1983... She didn't want a funeral. 'Get together and have a party,' she had said when the topic was allowed to come up." However, she was quick to tell readers that the survivors did not honor the request. "We needed the ritual. We needed to say good-bye, but we also needed a ritual that would honor her spirit and would be faithful to her values and beliefs."
When Ms. York acknowledges the position of her family—that they needed not a party but a ritual—she teaches us all something important: the celebration of life events we plan with families should be shaped as much by their own emotional and spiritual needs as their desire to celebrate the life lived.
While celebrations of life are not burdened by social expectations—they can be pretty much anything you want them to be—it's important to realize that the event you're planning should meet the emotional needs of the guests. So, think about exactly who will be there, and what they're likely to want or need. Then, bring in those unique lifestyle and personality characteristics of the deceased; perhaps add live music or refreshments, and you've got the beginnings of a remarkable celebration of life.
Sources: Remembering Well: Rituals for Celebrating Life & Mourning Death, Sara York
What is a Memorial Service?
Unlike a traditional funeral, a memorial service is a gathering where a casket is not present (although the urn with the cremated remains may be on display). A memorial service can be held weeks or even months after the death.
A memorial service can be held in a church, the funeral home or a community hall, or somewhere of importance to the deceased and family. There is usually music, selected readings, and a eulogy. Memorial services can be further personalized as a celebration-of-life.
How Does a Celebration of Life Differ from a Traditional Funeral?
As mentioned in the page Traditional Funeral Services, there are four basic components which make up the conventional approach to funerals:
A traditional funeral then is a series of events; it's a ritualized process where the deceased, and the attendees, pass from one social status to another; a process where the torn fabric of a family and community is repaired. According to the online article "Six Characteristics of Helpful Ceremonies", by William Hoy, Director of Grief Connect, this is done by including:
- Symbols of shared significance intended to communicate beyond words
- Ritual actions shared by a group of individuals
- Gathered people providing comfort to one another
- Connection to heritage through recognized readings
- Increased physical contact between attendees provide comfort
- Witnessing the transition of the body through burial or cremation
In knowing these characteristics, you can design a Celebration of Life as unique as the life of your loved. Learn how to create a Celebration of Life.