Having to plan a funeral for a loved one can be difficult when you’re grieving or in shock, especially if it’s the first time you’re doing so.
A traditional funeral service in the United States is an extended event that consists of many different parts. When you’re dealing with your grief, planning all of it can be stressful and overwhelming.
Once you have a better understanding of what needs to be done and the order in which everything needs to happen, however, the planning process tends to be much easier, allowing you to focus on supporting your loved ones during this time or taking the time you need to heal.
You can also work with a funeral organizer to make things a little easier.
Before the funeral takes place, families and loved ones get together to support each other during this time.
During the wake, family and friends are invited to view the body before the funeral. Some families may have the wake in their homes while others may prefer to host it at a funeral home.
Here, the body is displayed in a casket and the vigil is held by loved ones over the body.
The visitation is an informal event and is similar to the wake. It may take place the day before the funeral and family and friends can visit to pay their respects and give their condolences to the family.
Visitations are usually closed-casket events.
The Funeral Ceremony
The main ceremony may be held at the family home of the deceased, a place of worship or at the gravesite, depending on your religious beliefs or the wishes of the family.
This is done at the beginning of the funeral. Here, a few quick words will be shared to welcome and thank visitors for coming, followed by a few brief speeches about the life of the person who has passed away.
Depending on the religious beliefs of the family and the person whose life is being remembered, prayers may be offered as per various religious scriptures.
If you opt not to have a religious service, you can read poems or parts of published works that are significant instead.
Eulogies are longer and more personal speeches that are made in remembrance of those who have passed away, and are usually provided by close friends and family members.
Apart from these, there are other aspects of the ceremony that you will need to plan including the funeral music, transport and flower arrangements—when you work with a funeral home, they take care of these elements for you.
This is the final part of a traditional funeral service and it gives you and the rest of the family one last chance to say goodbye. Family and guests can have one last viewing of the deceased after which the casket is closed and is transported to the burial site or the crematorium.
If it’s a burial, family and guests arrive at the gravesite to pay their final respects and witness the burial.
While this is the traditional sequence of events, it may change based on religious beliefs, personal preferences and cultural requirements.
A traditional funeral service is a meaningful way to say goodbye
Grieving together with your loved ones and celebrating the life of the person who has passed away is an important part of healing, and something you have the opportunity to do at a traditional funeral service.
If you’re unsure about how to plan one or require support with doing so, get in touch with reputed service providers for reliable funeral home services.