Choosing A Funeral Type

Funerals aren't usually something many people feel like thinking or talking about, but as death is a part of the circle of life, it is obviously a subject that every person has to give thought to eventually. Here is a brief overview of the two different types of common funerals.

Traditional Funeral Service

A traditional funeral service is usually associated with the deceased's religious and/or cultural beliefs. The ceremony is performed in accordance with those beliefs and traditions, usually by a member of the clergy. Many traditional funeral services do not include cremation, with burial instead being required as a tenet of the faith to which they prescribed. The ceremony, with the body present in a casket, either open or closed, will be held either in a place of worship, the home, or a funeral parlor. Mourners and parishioners will pay their respects to the dead and the family. Scripture readings, songs and hymns, and a eulogy are common, and this may continue as the procession moves to the burial grounds. Some faiths also have a wake, either before the funeral or immediately following it. This is a more casual event, a party of sorts, in which the living are left to remember their dearly beloved, sharing food, drink, music, and stories with one another.

A traditional funeral service has many components to it, therefore, there are many decisions to be made when pre-planning your funeral. Choices such as burial attire, hymn choices, where you will be interred, pallbearers, officiants, and funeral home are just a few of the things to be decided. Preparing for your needs with a funeral home ahead of time will make things easier on your family when the time comes.

Memorial Funeral Service

A memorial funeral service is typically a more casual affair. There is no ceremonial preparation of the religious rites to the body in a memorial funeral service. Most of the time, the body is not even present, having already been cremated and dispersed with or turned into things such as cremation jewelry or memorial benches with personalized plaques.

The service is more of an opportunity for the living to share their memories of the deceased with one another, gathering to remember and pay homage to their life and legacy. It can be held anywhere, from a favorite park to a local hangout or tavern to their former home. Usually someone serves as a Master of Ceremonies, and participants take turns celebrating their life.