Many families today are choosing cremation. If cremation is your preference, you may be surprised to learn that the opportunities for creating a unique tribute are just as numerous as they are with burial ceremonies. Regardless of the service that you choose, you have options for personalizing the service and ensuring that it truly reflects the unique life of your your loved one.
Viewing or Visitation
A public viewing or visitation provides an opportunity for the family of the deceased and his or her friends, relatives or colleagues to come together. A visitation is often held at the funeral home, but can take place in a church or other location. Friends and colleagues may pay their final respects to the deceased and offer condolences to the family. A viewing or visitation may also be private and limited to the deceased's immediate family.
Celebration of Life Service
A Celebration of Life service is a formal gathering at the funeral home or another location. One or several individuals that knew the deceased may speak at the celebration of life service, whereas other families choose to have a favorite clergy person or non-religious celebrant speak. Speeches may offer prayers or words of wisdom, as well as remarks on the deceased's life and character.
After cremation has taken place, families may choose to bury the urn or place it in another permanent resting place as a mausoleum, columbarium or church niche. A committal service may accompany the placement of cremated remains in a final resting place and, like a funeral service, may include remarks offered by a clergy person or other individual.
A memorial service is similar to funeral service, except that the body is not present. Many families choose to have the cremated remains in a decorative urn present. A memorial service may take place shortly after cremation occurs, or may take place at a later date.