Funerals are a significant milestone in anyone’s life, and attending a funeral service is just one of many options for paying final respects to a loved one. Funeral homes and cremation providers provide a variety of end-of-life ceremonies (such as graveside and memorial services) that are more flexible and cost-effective than a traditional funeral.
What does a Funeral Service entail?
A funeral service is a formal ceremony held shortly after a person’s death. Family members and members of the community gather to say their final goodbyes. During a funeral service, the body is present, and the casket may be open or closed, depending on the family’s wishes.
A traditional funeral service is typically held in a funeral home or house of worship. Typical funeral elements are frequently present (e.g. pallbearers, delivery of the eulogy, special readings, songs, prayers). Some funerals include audiovisual elements, such as a video montage or photo slideshow. All of these elements assist funeral guests in honouring the deceased and expressing their condolences to the family.
Depending on the deceased person’s beliefs and/or family preferences, traditional funeral services may include religious and/or cultural customs. If you want certain traditions to be included in your own funeral service, it is best to pre-plan your funeral and make these arrangements ahead of time.
Funerals bring people together to remember and celebrate a loved one’s life, as well as to support the bereaved family. Many people find it easier to cope with their grief when they have the opportunity to say their final goodbyes at a funeral service, and it encourages the family and community to mourn together.
Things to know about Planning a Funeral Service
Funeral planning can be stressful. Making funeral arrangements in a short period of time – while also dealing with a tragic loss – can be overwhelming for many people. If the deceased person pre-planned their funeral, it relieves the family of much of the burden during this difficult time. Knowing a loved one’s funeral preferences ahead of time is a special gift that saves them from having to make difficult decisions while grieving.
Funerals are also expensive, and most people find it difficult to pay all the funeral costs at once. If purchased in advance, pre-need plans or final expense insurance can help defray funeral costs; however, if you are unable to cover funeral and burial costs, consider using a funeral crowdfunding site to raise funds online.
What is a Graveside Service?
A graveside service is a formal ceremony held when the body is ready to be buried. This could be a cemetery or a private burial ground where the casket is interred in a grave or an above-ground mausoleum. The urn is placed in a cremation niche, cremation bench, or mausoleum if the deceased was cremated. Cremated ashes can also be buried or scattered in a cemetery scattering garden.
A graveside service is usually held immediately following the funeral service, but it can also be held separately. It could be a private ceremony for family and close friends, an open ceremony for all guests who attended the funeral service, or a community event.
Typically, graveside ceremonies do not include many speeches or tributes. A few words and prayers may be said by one or two people, and the family will typically place a special wreath or memento on the casket. The casket/cremation urn is not always interred during the graveside ceremony; this final stage of the graveside ceremony may occur after the funeral attendees have left.
Following the graveside service, the family may host a repast/reception for guests who wish to express sympathy, share memories of the deceased, and console grieving family members. A reception incurs additional expenses, but some of these can be offset by foregoing a funeral service.
What does a Memorial Service Entail?
A memorial service is similar to a funeral service, except that the body is not present. A memorial service can be held weeks or months after the death, giving the family enough time to plan the event and accommodate varying schedules for guests travelling from far away.
By holding a memorial service, families can choose between direct burial and direct cremation for their loved ones. Because the body is not required to be present at the memorial ceremony, both options are affordable and practical.
Direct burial involves no embalming, and the deceased is buried shortly after death without a formal funeral service. A simple wooden casket is frequently used for burial, which helps to reduce total funeral costs.
Direct cremation takes place immediately after death. Embalming is not required for direct cremation, and no formal service is held beforehand. Some cremation providers, however, allow the family to attend the cremation witness ceremony.
A witness ceremony can be reassuring for family members, especially those who want to stay until the end to say their final goodbyes. Witnessing a cremation often provides closure and helps to alleviate doubt in families who want to be certain they will receive their loved one’s cremated ashes after the process is completed.
We’re Here to Assist
Carlyon Family Funeral Directors near Truro, Cornwall. We are available to sit down with you and talk things through over a nice cup of tea. Alternatively, you can give us a call or contact us through our website, we are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.