What Happens At A Funeral

After a death occurs, many families choose to have a visitation and funeral or memorial service. These services can be religion based or handled through our in house Certified Funeral Celebrant.

A funeral service occurs when a person’s body is present at the ceremony.  When their body is not present, the service is considered to be a memorial service.  Sometimes a photo or urn is used as the focal point at a memorial service in place of the human body.

Once the funeral service is over, the body of the deceased is either taken to a cemetery to be buried or entombed, or taken to the place where the cremation will occur.  After a memorial service, if there has been an urn present, the family may process to a cemetery where the urn can be buried or placed in a niche in a mausoleum.  Sometimes the family may choose to take the urn home to keep, or to scatter the cremated body in a special place of remembrance.

The technical details of a funeral or memorial service are all very clear, however the intricacies of the emotional response that each individual has while attending a  ceremony is not.  Each survivor has had a unique experience with the person who has died, and therefore, will have a unique experience at the funeral or memorial service.

There are, however, a few universal needs that a funeral or memorial ceremony needs to fulfill in order to be helpful for those who attend.  The service has to validate the legacy of the loved one.  Have you ever heard a person speak badly about the deceased at a funeral?  It is very unlikely that you have, and there is a reason for this.  A funeral gives the living a platform to highlight the attributes of the late loved one that were most admired.  It also served to allow attendees to explain how that person impacted the lives of those who have come together on that day.

Another important factor of a funeral or memorial service is that it helps to reinforce the reality of the death.  The phrase, “I’ll believe it when I see it” didn’t come out of nowhere.  People are more inclined to truly feel the reality of a death once they have a chance to visually see a person after they have died, or at least come together with others to commemorate that person and openly grieve their death.