Planning the Funeral Service
The funeral or memorial service is an important step toward healing hearts and beginning the process of mending the rip in the social fabric that exists after someone dies. Your Funeral Director will guide you throughout the planning process, provide you with clear answers to all your questions, and share his or her insights and experience with you.
The following is an overview of the many aspects of service planning you will discuss during the arrangement conference. If you have any questions about this information, don’t hesitate to call us.
Where Should it be Held?
Now that you have made the decision regarding burial versus cremation for your loved one, it is time to think about how you would like the service to look, and feel. It is an overall experience for everyone there, a testament to the life of someone you loved, and should illustrate the depth of your caring relationship.
Traditionally, a service is held in the family’s church, or in the chapel of the funeral home. But, in today’s world, you can choose to hold the service almost anywhere that is meaningful to you.
Perhaps there is a special place that your loved one would like to have their final goodbye? It could be at the beach, or in a favorite park; we’ve even seen services staged on the 18th hole of a golf course! Really, the choices are limited only by your imagination.
Of course, this is where you can rely heavily on your Funeral Director to help you in selecting the perfect location, and creating a memorable service.
What Day of the Week and Time of the Day are Best?
Naturally, the answers to this question depend on the location you’ve selected, and the schedules of those you wish to attend. We have made arrangement for evening services, often followed by a dinner gathering at a local restaurant. We’ve also seen early afternoon services, held out-of-doors, in the sunshine and open air. If you have concerns about the weather, an indoor service is probably a good choice, and the day/time issue resolves itself when we look at the facility schedule.
Who Will Officiate the Service?
You can choose to have a minister of your faith officiate the service, or a certified non-denominational celebrant. For that matter, you can choose almost anyone who is comfortable with speaking in public, but we believe it should be someone who cares deeply about guiding those in attendance through the ceremony. The choice is always yours, but we suggest you select someone you know well, and trust.
There are Other Decisions, Too
Actually, these are the decisions which really shape and personalize the service. For example, you will need to decide:
Will the service be open-ended, or will guests be told the service ends at a specific time?
Which flowers, and in what colors, you would like to see surrounding the casket or urn
What type of music you would like to be played – and specifically, what selections?
Will there be transportation provided, to and from the service for friends and family?
Will you have a time in the service where people can step up to share stories or memories of your loved one?
What will you do if no one wishes to share? What can you fill that time with?
Will there be a traditional eulogy? And if so, who will present it?
If there is to be a burial, will it be private, or open to all who choose to come?
Is there a list of people you need to be there, such as close personal friends or business partners? Would you like to give them any service responsibilities?
Letting Everyone Know
Preparing a list of who should be notified of the passing of your loved one will be really helpful to your Funeral Director. We have a number of ways to notify them of the death,and the details of the service arrangements; and we’d be delighted to assist you in this important (and often emotionally-draining) task. When you meet with your Funeral Director, he or she will be pleased to discuss these options.
If you’d like to learn more about any of the details involved in planning a funeral or memorial service for a loved one, call or email us.