What Families Should Know
Planning a loved one’s final farewell and celebration of life, whether it be a traditional funeral or memorial service, can be one of life’s most challenging and at the same time most rewarding tasks. It provides an opportunity for family members, friends, and others who cared about the individual a chance to honor them. And it also gives them a chance to support each other at a very difficult time.
But there are some very important decisions families have to make when planning services of this kind. As a plug for the good practice of pre-planning, some of the actions in this blog can be easily planned and funded ahead of time, which eases the burden on family and ensures that the deceased’s wishes will be met.
Here are a few important things that families need to consider when planning a service for their loved one:
- Choosing a funeral home and funeral director: This needs to be someone who is in good standing with the community and has the knowledge to manage all of the needed arrangements.
- Type of disposition: Ideally the family knows what type of disposition the deceased wanted; if no pre-planning is in place, the family will have to decide on the manner of disposition.
- Religious service: These are typically held at a religious facility like a church or temple. Most funeral homes have chapels to accommodate funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life.
- Who will officiate: Funeral directors can help with arranging for a Pastor, Priest, or Rabbi to preside over services.
- Readings: This involves selecting poems, prayers, memories of the loved one, etc., and deciding who will deliver them.
- Eulogy: Someone needs to appoint the right person to write and deliver a eulogy about the loved one.
- Music and a special tribute: Funeral home directors can help with this, and most provide these types of services.
- Pallbearers: Someone needs to decide who will act as pallbearers if there are going to be church or graveside services.
- Webcasting the funeral or making a recording of the services available later: Again, the funeral home/director should be able to help with this.
None of us should be afraid to bring up this subject and discuss it openly with our families well ahead of time. It is an important first step in the pre-planning of your end-of-life celebration, giving you control over arrangements and making things so much easier for those you leave behind. So many times, a family will come into our funeral home having no idea of all the details or things they will need to take care of when faced with the passing of a loved one. Pre-planning makes all the difference, and it ensures the best outcomes.