Most people are familiar with what is known as the Traditional Service.
This type of funeral includes:
- The visitation which usually takes place at the funeral home 2 days before the funeral service.
- The funeral service.
- The committal service and interment.
The visitation, also known as the wake, is a period of visitation with the deceased in an open or closed casket in a visitation room in the funeral home and is where family and friends gather to extend sympathy and comfort to one another.
The funeral service is usually held at a church or in a chapel room at the funeral home. The service is arranged in consultation with the clergy and typically consists of scripture readings, prayers, possibly a eulogy and /or a sermon, hymns, poems and any other music or script that holds meaning for the family.
Following the funeral service, family and friends usually proceed to the cemetery for the committal service. The committal service is a brief ceremony conducted by the clergy at the gravesite. It may be public or private, depending on the wishes of the family. At the committal service final goodbyes are said and flowers are placed on the casket.
Although the traditional service can be very formal and scripted, there are ways to personalize the service to meet the needs of the family and pay a very personal tribute to the deceased.Personalization can include a specific choice of music, flowers and readings at the service. In addition, celebration of life photo boards and personal memory displays can be included at the funeral service and at the funeral home visitation prior to the service.