While you can be incredibly elaborate when you’re planning a funeral, there are some basic funeral services that you should consider building upon. Basic funeral services provide friends and family with a way to commemorate and say goodbye to a loved one through a service of remembrance and possibly with a short graveside service if ground interment is planned as well. Here’s an overview of the basic elements that you will need to plan.
Viewing or Visitation
Many families include a time of several hours or days before the memorial service that allows family members and friends time to come say a final goodbye before the emotional memorial service. While still solemn, a viewing can often have moments of levity as families come together to mourn and share stories of their loved one. Showing a slide show during the viewing is a great way to spark memories, and the casket can be either on display–open or closed–depending on the wishes of the family. Cremation is not a reason to forego a “viewing”, although it would be more appropriately termed a “visitation” under those circumstances. Visitations and viewings are often held at the funeral home, although they can be held in the family home or at a church as well.
A memorial service is a very special time of music, love and sharing of a life well-lived that often occurs directly before interment for a ground burial or after cremation. A more formal affair than a visitation or viewing, a memorial service may involve a trusted local religious figure who is asked to share a short sermon or a family member or members saying a few words about their loved one. Memorial services can serve as a time of closure for the family and friends to share together.
In the case of a ground burial, a graveside service is often conducted that is very short and may include only a shared song and a few Scripture verses or inspirational words. This is a time for families to say their final goodbyes before the casket is lowered into the ground.
Planning a funeral can be a very emotional time, and we want to be there to support you however possible. Please contact our considerate and knowledgeable staff to get more information about basic funeral services and funeral planning.