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Traditional or Trendy: Which Funeral Service is Best for Your Family?

Losing a loved one can be a challenging experience, and there are important choices to make in the immediate aftermath.

Losing a loved one can be a challenging experience, and there are important choices to make in the immediate aftermath. One of the most significant choices you’ll have to make is what type of funeral service to honor your loved one with. While this can seem overwhelming, understanding the options available can help you navigate through this process more easily.

In this article, we will explore the top six types of funeral services, each offering a unique approach to celebrating and remembering a life well-lived. Remember, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to honoring your loved one's legacy. What matters is finding the type of service that is most meaningful to you and your family.

Top 6 Types of Funeral Services:

  • Traditional Memorial Service with Burial
  • Traditional Memorial Service with Cremation
  • Celebration of Life
  • Graveside Service
  • Interment Service
  • Burial at Sea

Traditional Funeral Services

Traditional funerals are a popular option that can provide comfort and closure to families. A traditional funeral may take place at a funeral home, church, or another location and can include an open or closed casket for viewing or an urn. The service is a formal event that typically includes music, prayers, eulogies, and readings.

One of the key benefits of traditional funerals is that they offer a structured way to honor and celebrate your loved one’s life. They can give families a sense of comfort and support during a tumultuous time. Traditional funerals also enable families to maintain cultural or religious traditions and provide a sense of continuity between generations. They can serve as a reminder of family history and the importance of remembering loved ones who have passed on.

Traditional Burials

For a traditional burial, the body is placed in a casket, which is then lowered into the ground and covered with soil, allowing the body to return to the earth.

One of the benefits of a traditional burial is the sense of permanence it offers. The physical presence of a gravesite provides a tangible place for loved ones to visit and find comfort. Family and friends can pay their respects, leave flowers, or simply stand quietly in remembrance.

Memorial Services

A memorial service typically takes place after the body has already been laid to rest or cremated. Unlike funeral services, which generally happen shortly after the death, memorial services can be held days, weeks, or even months after the loss. This flexibility allows family and friends to plan and gather in a way that accommodates everyone's availability. It also allows for a more thoughtful and intentional planning process, giving families the chance to create a service that truly reflects the unique personality and spirit of their loved one.

Memorial services also allow for greater financial flexibility. Traditional funeral services often come with various expenses, such as embalming, caskets, and transportation, which can add to the financial burden during an already challenging time. With a memorial service, families have more control over the overall cost.

Graveside Services

A graveside service is a ceremony held at the gravesite of the deceased. Graveside services focus on the act of burial itself, providing an intimate setting for family and friends to gather, pay respects, and offer final farewells.

One of the benefits of a graveside service is the simplicity and directness it offers. With traditional funeral services, there are often many logistical elements to consider. On the other hand, a graveside service allows for a more straightforward approach, without the need for elaborate planning or the stress of managing multiple locations. It can help families focus on gathering and mourning in a serene and natural setting.

Graveside services can also be complemented by additional memorial gatherings at a later time, such as a reception or gathering at a designated venue or home. This provides an opportunity for a larger circle of family and friends to come together, share stories, and offer support to one another in a less formal setting.

Cremation Options

Cremation is the method of converting a body into ash by exposing it to high temperatures in a specialized furnace called a cremation chamber. The ashes are then carefully collected and placed in an urn or other container. This allows for a variety of memorialization options, including burial, scattering, or keeping the urn in a meaningful location.

Cremation can be a more affordable option compared to traditional burials. With the rising costs of caskets, cemetery plots, and maintenance fees, cremation provides a practical alternative that can help ease the financial burden often associated with end-of-life arrangements.

Burial at Sea

Burial at sea is the act of laying a person to rest in the depths of an ocean or other body of water. While burial at sea typically involves the scattering of cremated remains, it can also be performed with a casket specially designed for underwater burial.

Burial at sea allows for a final resting place in a location that holds personal significance, whether it's a favorite beach spot, a particular stretch of coastline, or a beloved body of water. Families can choose to hold a memorial ceremony on a boat or other suitable vessel, where they can gather to remember and honor their loved one as they bid them farewell. 

It's important to note that burial at sea is subject to specific regulations and requirements, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction and location. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of the process, the protection of the marine environment, and compliance with applicable laws.

The Choice is Yours

Choosing the right type of service is an essential part of the grieving process. It’s important to hold a service that best suits your family’s culture and values. Whichever option you choose, we are here to help you find a way to remember and celebrate the life of your loved one in a way that brings you comfort, healing, and peace.

Each of these top types of funeral services offer a unique approach to celebrating and remembering a life well-lived. There’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to honoring your loved one. Find the service most meaningful to your family. Find a nearby Afterall provider to learn more about service options and speak to someone about planning a personalized service.

For more information on creating a memorable celebration of life, read our article 5 Epic Celebration of Life Parties They'll Never Forget.