If you are one of millions of Americans who have never attended a funeral and are put into the situation of needing to plan a funeral, it may be confusing trying to determine the basic parts of traditional funerals. In general, the parts include visitation, funeral and burial services but you may also choose to include private services or luncheons. The good news is that nothing you choose is “wrong” as long as it works for your family and your particular situation.
One of the most popular parts of traditional funerals is the visitation, when families welcome visitors to view the body (or not!) and comfort each other after a loss. This social gathering is not considered a ritual, or required, part of traditional funerals but it is an opportunity to celebrate the deceased. Visitors often sign a guest book which can be a great consolation to the family after the services are over.
The funeral, or memorial service, is often officiated by a clergy or senior family member and can occur either in the funeral home or in a local religious building such as a church. Traditional funerals often include various readings from religious texts, musical arrangements and lovely floral displays. This is an opportunity to truly share the personality and beauty of the deceased through prose as well as visual display.
Having a burial service for your loved one often follows the funeral, and can be valid whether your dearly departed has selected cremation or was embalmed for burial. Various memorial sizes and shapes are available, and traditional funerals often include a short graveside service as well as a religious song such as “Amazing Grace”. Again, no choice you make is wrong–and many funerals are spiritual or hopeful instead of religious.
Having a way to get together and share the life story of your loved one is a way of showing that life does go on, even after a loss. Luncheons also help the close family to take that first step towards normalcy while taking pressure off of them at the same time.
While these are a few ways that you can incorporate pieces of traditional funerals into your final planning, this is not an exhaustive guide. Learn more from our compassionate funeral directors and team at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery.