Holding meaningful funeral ceremonies to say “goodbye” to someone who died, something that reflects the deceased’s life, personal, religious or spiritual beliefs, to honour, remember and even celebrate the life and memory of the person who died, is a ritual that exists long ago.
When we contact the funeral home, set a time for the service, plan the ceremony, view the body, perhaps even choose clothing and jewellery for the body and seeing the casket being lowered into the ground, we are witness to death’s finality.
Funerals take place before burial or cremation, and are usually held within a few days of the death.
Funerals are often held in funeral homes, religious places of worship, chapels at the cemetery, or at the gravesite. These places are generally best equipped to handle the funeral service and its logistics.
Traditional Funeral Features
At some services the casket may already be set up in the front of the room, while at other services the casket may be brought in by pallbearers. During the service, people may say prayers, deliver eulogies, read passages from scripture or literature, or sing songs. At the end of the service, the body will be removed to a hearse by the pallbearers and brought to the cemetery for interment. In the case of cremation, the body will be removed to a crematory for cremation.
Holding A Viewing, Wake, Or Visitation
Many funerals begin with a viewing, wake, or visitation at which the body is on display.
Holding A Funeral Followed By Burial
In the case of burial, there is usually a brief service held at the gravesite. This service may be limited to immediate family or may include everyone who attended the funeral service. More prayers or readings are recited before the body is lowered into the ground.
Holding A Funeral Followed By Cremation
In the case of cremation, the body is usually taken directly from the funeral to the crematory. Family members may gather at the crematory to say prayers or watch the cremation.
After the interment, it is common to have a reception, which can be held at a funeral home, religious place of worship, a family home, or another location that can accommodate all those who attended the funeral.