What is the purpose of a funeral?
- Providing a social support system for the bereaved
- Helping the bereaved understand death is final and that death is part of life
- Integrating the bereaved back into the community
- Easing the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one
- Providing a safe haven for embracing and expressing pain
- Reaffirming one’s relationship with the person who died
- Providing a time to say good-bye
It is possible to have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. The importance of the ritual is in providing a social gathering to help the bereaved begin the healing process.
I've never arranged a funeral before. What do I need to know?
- Be an informed consumer and ask questions
- Choose an independent funeral home and a licensed funeral director
- Discuss all service and payment options during the funeral arrangements
- Make sure you receive a copy of the funeral home’s General Price List
- Be prepared and make decisions and organize details in advance of need
- Plan a personalized and meaningful ceremony to help you begin healing
What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link family and friends with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.
What types of funeral services exist?
Why have a public viewing?
What is the purpose of embalming?
Is embalming required by law?
Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
- A visitation prior to the service
- An open or closed casket
- Special music
- A ceremony at the funeral chapel, your place of worship or other special location
- Participation by friends and family
Commonly, cremated remains are placed in an urn and committed to an indoor or outdoor mausoleum or columbarium; interred in a family burial plot; or included in a special urn garden.
Cremation also gives families the option to scatter the remains. This can be done in a designated cemetery garden or at a place that was special to the person. Today, cremated remains can even become part of an ocean reef or made into diamonds.