What purpose does a funeral serve?

It is the customary way to reconize death and its finality.  Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show respect for the dead and to help the survivors begin the healing process.

What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors spend the majority of their time helping families with their funeral planning to create a meaningful tribute to their loved one.  Learning about the person who lived is very important, and listening is perhaps their greatest skill.  Funeral directors work to create a comfortable environment for families, friends and visitors.  There are also a significant amount of administrative responsibilities and event planning that funeral directors handle behind the scenes (including coordination with clergy, cemeteries, crematories, reception halls, restaurants, funeral flowers, muscians, veteran honor guards, veteran benefits offices, social security, city/town clerks and health departments, doctors’ offices, medical examiners’ office, newspapers, airlines, website, etc.)

Why have a public viewing?

Viewing the body and spending time with the person who just died offers many benefits.  It allows you time to say good-bye; it allows you the opportunity to accept the reality and finality of death; it allows you to mourn publicly with the support of family and friends.  Many experts on the psychology of grief agree that viewing your loved one helps facilitate a healthy grief process.

What is the difference between a classic funeral and a memorial service?

A classic funeral involves the presence and disposition of the loved one’s body. A memorial service is an opportunity to remember the loved one when the body is not present.

What is embalming and is it necessary before the service is held?

Embalming is the temporary preservation and sanitation of the deceased.  The process of embalming allows the family a greater time to plan a funeral service.

Are the services held before or after cremation?

Services are held at the discretion of the family.  A traditional funeral service may be held first, followed by the cremation.  Or a memorial service may be held after cremation.

Is it a good idea to pre-plan my funeral or cremation?

Absolutely. Pre-planning can help you minimize the emotional strain and financial concerns that would be placed on your next of kin or executor. Pre-planning doesn’t necessarily mean prepaying. It simply gives you the opportunity to share your feelings and wishes about various aspects of your funeral service and what you would like to happen with your remains. There are options for prepaying but do not feel obligated to have this included when pre-planning. Details of your preferences or cost guidelines of how much money should be spent and on what items are sufficient.