The value of a meaningful funeral cannot be underestimated. Funerals give families and friends an opportunity to come together to celebrate a life, to mourn together but also to reflect together as they share memories of a loved one and look back on times spent together. As funeral service offerings become more diverse, sometimes the choices available become overwhelming, or come with questions of their own. One of the rising trends within funeral service is cremation, a practice that is by no means new, but increasingly popular. People who are making end of life arrangements have a lot of questions, and surveys show that consumers have a lack of information regarding funeral options and planning.
There are still a lot of myths surrounding cremation, chief among them that it is an alternative to a funeral service. Cremation is, in and of itself, a means of preparing human remains for final disposition. Choosing cremation in no way suggests that a memorial service, or even a traditional funeral service, can’t or shouldn’t take place. Cremation actually provides you with increased flexibility when you make your funeral and ceremony arrangements. You might, for example, choose to have a traditional funeral service before the cremation – in the funeral home, with the body present. This is not an unusual occurrence, and in situations where families are split on the issue, is often a good compromise. There can also be a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present; or a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can be held in a place of worship, a funeral home, or social hall.
What is important to remember is that funerals and memorial services fill an important role for those mourning the death of a loved one. They are often the first step in the healing process, and the rituals involved provide a number of comforts to those who are grieving. Cremation is not an alternative to such a service, but merely a step in the process. There are a wide variety of options available to you and your loved ones as you think about your own needs, and your local funeral home is ready to walk you through every step of the way. Whether it’s a small memorial service or a large funeral, the key is to develop a meaningful celebration of life.