When making plans for memorial and funeral services, whether pre-planning for yourself or a member of your family, there are many options to consider. The simplest is a cremation without a memorial service. The most elaborate is a previewing, memorial and funeral, with a traditional burial in a crypt. Meeting with your local funeral director in advance will help ensure you make the best choice for you or your loved one.
We’ve highlighted some of your choices to consider below:
- Simple Cremation – For those on tighter budget, this is an option frequently chosen. The body is cremated, and afterwards, the cremains may be kept by the family and/or friends, or perhaps spread at a favored place. Families and friends may wish to participate, or there is an option to have a professional complete this process if that is desired.
- Cremation With an Urn – Many like to keep the cremains in their home in an attractive urn. Urns come in all shapes and sizes. Some are metal; others are ceramic. There are many choices depending on one’s tastes, including elaborate statues or a bust made in the likeness of the person.
- Previewing the Body – Many wish to have a previewing ceremony where the body is displayed in a funeral hall or a church. This helps the living get closure, especially those who may not have seen the person alive for some time. After the previewing, the body may be cremated or buried in a coffin.
- Memorial Service – A memorial service is a celebration of the person’s life given by their friends, business colleagues and family. It can be public or private. The person’s accomplishments are presented, and those who wish to say something about the person are invited to do so.
- Cremains Burial – The cremains are placed in the ground, a vault or a crypt, with or without a ceremony, as desired.
- Traditional Burial – The coffin is buried in a ceremony usually presided over by a priest, rabbi or spiritual leader of the deceased person’s religious faith.
- Burial in the Ground – This requires a plot of land in a cemetery. Many families reserve this well in advance and have enough space to accommodate all the members of a family.
- Burial in a Vault – This is the placing of the coffin in a vault in a room where others are also kept.
- Burial in a Crypt – A crypt is a building, often made of stone, that can accommodate one or more deceased persons. The body may be placed in a coffin that is then put inside the crypt, or the body may be placed directly in the crypt. After the body is placed inside the crypt, the crypt is sealed.
- Grave Markers, Plaques, Statues and Headstones – The burial site, vault or crypt usually has something that tells who is buried there, which often shows the date of birth and death.
Many find it preferable to pre-plan for these services and make financial arrangements well in advance, so others don’t have to. This takes much of the burden off the remaining family members and friends in deciding what it is the deceased person would have desired. A funeral director will help with the information and the decisions.