Choice in Type of Gatherings

Immediate Cremation Only

People who prefer not to have any service or gathering can contact the funeral director for removal of the deceased and immediate cremation. Then it is necessary to review with your funeral director administrative requirements and all other details.

Although direct cremation without any form of gathering or service is an option, many people later regret this decision because it ignores the need for closure. By viewing the body after death, participating in arrangements, meeting in a formal or informal setting with supportive friends and family, the ceremony or gathering becomes a meaningful ritual like a baptism, wedding or anniversary.

You may not like the idea of a viewing, but can see the value in a gathering of close personal friends to talk and reminisce. You may discover you do indeed want a ceremony but not a typical funeral. Consider other options before deciding.

Funeral Service with Cremation Following

Probably the biggest misconception about cremation is that there can be no funeral if cremation is chosen. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most people choosing cremation prefer to have a funeral with cremation afterwards.

Many experts in the field of psychology recommend a funeral service as a way of bringing closure to a life lived. They feel the process helps loved ones move ahead with their lives following a loss.

The funeral is most often conducted in a funeral home or church, but can he held in any appropriate setting. The funeral can involve clergy, but it is not necessary. In fact, many people prefer a ceremony where family and friends simply eulogize and share feelings and memories. Favorite musical selections are often an important part of this remembrance. Families are encouraged to bring photo albums, favorite collections or accomplishments of the loved one so others can concentrate on the life that was lived.

Sharing is also the purpose of a visitation or wake. These gatherings allow people to meet in a less formal setting prior to or after the funeral. Visitations and wakes are most often held in the funeral home as the facilities are large enough to accommodate everyone. This setting also alleviates family members from the oblivion of entertaining and maintains the privacy of the bereaved.

When there is a funeral, a container is required to transport the deceased to the crematory. Many crematories require a rigid container. Unique casket designs, cremation containers, and floral tributes also allow family members a tangible way to express their care while adding beauty to the ceremony. Your funeral director will explain your various casket and cremation container options for use in a funeral or memorial service.

You also have a choice as to whether the casket or the cremation container is open or closed. Sometimes families want the casket open only for the immediate family and then closed before the beginning of the service. Special photographs can also he displayed as a memorial of the person.

Cremation Followed by a Memorial Service

State laws typically dictate a waiting period before cremation can occur. During this time, very close family and friends often request a final viewing. This can be arranged through the funeral director.

The memorial service is a gathering which differs from a funeral only in that the body is not present. Clergy may be present to contribute support from the Scriptures if requested. Most often the cremated remains are present during the service in an urn. Urns come in many styles and reflect varied artistic forms. With so many to choose from, families can find something reflective of their lifestyle, faith or beliefs.

As with contemporary funerals. Pictures, memorabilia, awards and personal effects are often displayed as part of the memorial service. The funeral director will coordinate the display of these items, as well as the choice of music, the seating of people, the parking of cars and any other aspects of the service. The funeral director is a valuable resource in planning and can offer suggestions that may otherwise be overlooked.

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