People often take great comfort in a ceremony. To help you determine what elements of the traditional funeral are most appropriate for your situation, it is important to understand the benefits of each.
This can either be private or public and is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. The deceased person's body is present and allows family and friends to gather together and support each other in saying goodbye to their loved one. Many people believe that a viewing aids in the grief process and children are often encouraged to participate as long as the child understands what the viewing entails and does so voluntarily.
The Funeral Service
A funeral service is the customary way to recognize the death of a loved one and to share memories with others. There can be many different aspects to a service and there is no right or wrong way to do this. It is very much a personal matter for the bereaved. It can be a very simple service where by someone says a few words, or a few people may wish to speak about the deceased and their life. Some of the things people may want to consider are:
- Giving a Eulogy (saying a few words about a loved one's life/personality)
- What music would they like to play (normally something that may remind them of their loved one)
- What sort of flowers they'd like
- Do they want to display pictures of their loved one
- If the deceased person had a hobby, memorabilia can be displayed
- Memorial Books (A keepsake for the family)
- Memorial Cards or Bookmarks (A keepsake for the family and friends)
When Funeral Arrangers talk of the procession, this generally refers to the journey from the funeral home to the cemetery and grave side. Family and friends can choose to follow the hearse bearing the coffin or meet at the cemetery. This is a sign of mutual support and respect for the deceased.
The Committal Service
The Committal comes at the end of the service either in the cemetery when the coffin is being lowered, or in the Chapel if the full service is held there. The words that are said are the final words said by the funeral officiant and are basically committing that person back to the earth. Depending on a families beliefs these words can differ to suit.
Most funerals are followed by adjourning to the Lounge. This allows family and friends to gather informally after the more formal funeral service. It gives time to reminisce, to laugh or cry or even just catch up with people we have lost touch with.