A traditional full-service burial is often the main package offered by most funeral homes.
This type of service helps loved ones mourn their loss and get closure, with the familiarity of the traditional service offering reassurance during a difficult time.
Generally, this is the biggest package offered, including a viewing or visitation, funeral service, burial or cremation, and a funeral reception or wake.
As this is one of the biggest sets of services offered by a funeral home, it’s also one of the most expensive.
What does a funeral home provide?
A funeral home will generally take on the majority of the organizational process of a traditional full-service funeral.
The cost for the service is likely to include the funeral home’s basic services fee, the embalming and dressing of the body, the rental of the funeral home to use for the viewing or service, and the transportation cost.
To offer you a more complete idea of how the costs could stack up, here are the main services offered by a funeral home:
- Transporting the body
- Securing the required permits
- Obtaining the death certificates
- Supervising the funeral service
- Making the funeral arrangements
- Taking care of and preparing the body
- Coordinating the musical arrangements
- Publishing obituaries and funeral notices
- Arranging the grave opening and closing
- Making arrangements for cremation or burial
- Organizing cemetery space, monuments, and flowers
- Sorting out transportation for family members prior to, during, and after the service
What does the program include?
A traditional full-service burial often has a very straightforward program offering attendees time to remember and mourn the loss of the deceased while taking the time to offer condolences to the family.
This includes the following services:
Viewing or Visitation
A visitation will usually take place the day of or the day before the funeral ceremony and is when guests come to pay their respects to the deceased and spend time and support the family.
If it’s a viewing, the body will be displayed in an open casket. This will involve embalming.
If the casket is left closed, it’s called a visitation, and this generally doesn’t require embalming.
The funeral service follows the viewing and can be held at the funeral home, place of worship, crematorium, or at the gravesite.
This is the heart of a traditional full-service burial and is where attendees gather to hear funeral music, listen to readings from religious or literary works, give eulogies about the departed, and sometimes participate in prayer.
A funeral service will often follow a program that is similar to the following:
- Musical prelude
- Introduction or words of welcome
- Prayers and scripture readings
- Musical selections or hymns
- Formal reading of the obituary
- Eulogy and tributes by speakers notified ahead of time
- Informal eulogies and tributes
- Thank you and acknowledgments
- Viewing of the deceased
- Closing words
Following the funeral service, there’s a committal service, during which the burial or cremation will take place. This service can include poems, readings, prayers, or music.
For burials, the committal service is usually held at the gravesite and allows you to say a final goodbye to your loved one as they are lowered to their final resting place.
For cremations, the committal is usually held at the crematorium. It could also, however, take place at the gravesite where the ashes are being buried.
A committal could form part of the overall funeral service if the service is taking place at the gravesite as well.
Funeral Reception or Wake
This is the final step of a traditional full-service funeral.
The funeral reception often takes place at a family member’s home where refreshments are served and attendees are invited to converse.
This service can offer funeral attendees a more casual, relaxed space to celebrate the life of the deceased.
As funerals often bring people together, the reception also provides an opportunity for people to reconnect.
A traditional full-service burial can provide familiarity in unfamiliar circumstances
For a lot of people, having a traditional full-service burial is a way of coping with the loss of a loved one, with the service being a good way to remember the deceased and gather with other people who loved them.
While it may be a little more costly, it can offer guests a sense of familiarity and community that can help when dealing with significant loss.