- Why have a funeral?
What's the point. As difficult as it can be to discuss death, grief and funerals, it is ultimately more difficult to avoid the topic. For thousands of years, funerals have been a means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone we love.
The funeral ceremony:
- helps us acknowledge that someone we love has died
- allows us to say goodbye
- helps us remember the person who died and encourages us to share those memories with others
- offers a time and place for us to talk about the life and death of the person who dies
- provides a social support system for us and other friends and family members
- allows us to search for the meaning of life and death
- offers continuity and hope for the living
Whether you choose burial or cremation, the major purpose of a funeral or other form of ceremony is to recognize a particular life, and to make real the fact that the life has ended. The remembering, deciding, and reflecting that takes place in the planning of the service are often an important part of the process of grief and mourning. Ultimately, this process of contemplation and discovery creates a memorable and moving funeral experience for all who attend.
We gather together to establish the significance of a life. Instead of dismissing the whole funeral process in an effort to escape the reality of death, we should work to make the funeral as meaningful and healing as possible. It is impossible to progress through grief without first facing the fact of the loss.
It is important to recognize that funerals are for the living ... for those who will suffer the trauma of losing a loved one. It is through the funeral process that a number of emotional needs are met for those who grieve.
A funeral is similar to other ceremonies in our lives. Like a graduation ceremony, a wedding, a baptism, a funeral is a rite of passage by which we recognize an important event that distinguishes our lives. The funeral declares a death has occurred.
The funeral is the first step in healing and has both psychological and social healing aspects.
It is often the initial step toward separation from the deceased to the beginning of the grief process and re-establishing a place in our community without the loved one.
The funeral ritual makes the death a reality for those who are bereaved.
The ritual of viewing the deceased may be seen by some as harsh and unnecessary and they may say "I just want to remember him the way he was ...", however, it is a reality and confirmation for the person grieving as to the finality of the loss, thus allowing them to begin the healing process. Funerals are often a time for remembering the deceased, and telling stories or memories, as well as rituals to help in the psychological healing. The funeral allows for the community to support the mourners, and gives structured time and interaction with members other than the family. Attending the funeral allows us to deal with the loss, say goodbye, and reaffirms the importance of living.
- What is a Certified Funeral Celebrant?
A Funeral Celebrant is trained and certified to provide a funeral, memorial or celebration of life service that is highly personalized to reflect the personality, lifestyle and beliefs of the person who died. Celebrants encourage participation by family and friends in helping to create a meaningful ceremony. The Celebrant then writes and facilitates the ceremony for you.
- Why Have A Funeral Celebrant?
A growing number of individuals call themselves non-religious and do not participate within a faith community. Also, many people follow a strong 'spiritual' path but are not necessarily 'religious'. For both groups, when someone they love dies, they are often unclear about how to design a tribute that is fitting. Friends and family often want to participate in the creation and presentation of personalized gathering, but may be uncomfortable or unable to speak publicly about death the the loss of a loved one. Funeral Celebrants support the individual or family decision to present a spiritual and/or non-religious gathering.
- What is an earth burial?
Earth burial is the practice of placing human remains in the ground. Most people are buried in cemeteries, although some states allow earth burial on residential property. Bodies are usually placed in a casket prior to burial, which can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The dead can be buried fully clothed or not, and personal items may be placed in the casket as well. In addition to a the ground from shifting and becoming uneven over the years. Many cemeteries allow family and friends to hold ceremonies at the graveside prior to burial.
- What is Cremation?
Cremation is a process that uses intense heat to reduce the body to bone fragments. These are usually crushed or ground so that the ashes can be scattered. It takes two to four hours to cremate a body, and the cremated remains (sometimes called cremains) weigh four to eight pounds. Cremains may be stored in a box or urn at home, placed in a columbarium, buried in the earth, or scattered. Most crematories require that the body be cremated in a container. Federal law requires that all funeral homes offer an inexpensive cremation container for this purpose, however, you can choose to be cremated in an expensive casket. The crematory must be told if the body has a pacemaker or other metal implant so they can remove it prior to cremation.