Cremation & Ceremony
Many people feel, when cremation has been chosen (or is simply expressed as the preference of a loved one), that they are no longer able to have a funeral or memorial service. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we advocate having a highly personalized ceremony which celebrates the life of the deceased, and provides untold comfort for those left behind.
Some families choose cremation because it is a simple, affordable option. Others wish to honor their concern for the health of the planet, choosing cremation as part of their overall environmental consciousness.
Your reasons for choosing cremation matter, yet we don’t want you to think that cremation limits your ceremonial options. In fact, cremation actually increases the number of memorialization opportunities.
Whatever Your Reasons for Choosing Cremation…
It’s not only possible, it’s preferred. We can share many heartwarming stories about the power and significance of such ceremonial gatherings. It doesn’t seem to matter if you choose a traditional funeral or memorial service to take place before, or after, the cremation process; coming together with friends and family can be a profoundly healing experience.
If you’d like the funeral service to take place prior to the cremation, the following questions become essential, since the body is available to you (unlike those ceremonies occurring after the cremation has occurred). Take a moment to think about how you would answer these two questions:
- Do you want a period of visitation prior to the service?
- Do you want an open or closed casket? (With cremation, you often have the option of buying or renting a casket.)
While it is entirely your choice, viewing the body can help to bring closure to friends and family, allowing them to accept the death. When people walk up to the casket and view the body, for some people at least, this is a pivotal moment when they finally accept the fact that this person has died. This helps the grieving process significantly.
Your pre-cremation ceremony, visitation or viewing aside, can be elaborate or simple; it can be traditional or non-traditional. We’ve found, in today’s highly-individualized society, arrangements are often designed to reflect the life and passions of the deceased. Such a high level of personalization gives added meaning to those in attendance.
How Will You Tend to the Remains?
One more thing we ask you to think about is how you wish to care for the cremated remains. Once the cremation has occurred, they will be returned to a designated family member, but what will be done with them?
What your family will with the cremated remains is influenced by the type of memorialization desired. Usually cremated remains are placed in some type of permanent receptacle, referred to as an urn, before being committed to a final resting place. You could then choose to:
- Do you want special music?
- Do you want the ceremony at the funeral chapel or your place of worship?
- Do you want family and/or friends to participate in the ceremony?
These and other decisions are for you, and any family members involved in the arrangements, to make. It is not for us to decide how the ceremony should look, and feel; those decisions are yours to make, with our guidance if you desire it. This is also true for those people making their pre-planning decisions. Despite the fact that we call ourselves “funeral directors,” we are not there to direct you in making your decisions; we are only there to help.
Knowledge Truly is Power
That’s an age-old thought, and we think it is has never been more true than at this very moment. Right now, you are taking the time to educate yourself on the ceremonial and memorialization options available to you, and we think that’s very empowering, don’t you?.
Our essential message is simple: cremation does not limit ceremonial options in any way, and, in fact, can give families a greater number of choices in the ways they have to honor and remember someone who has died.