It is possible to have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. The importance of the ritual is in providing a social gathering to help the bereaved begin the healing process.
There are no absolute standards for an alternative service. I am willing to help you explore the alternatives that are best for your family.
Service OptionsToday, there are many ways to organize and conduct celebrations that acknowledge that a life has been lived and that a death has occurred. Some personalized services that are commonly used include: a funeral service, a memorial service, a visitation or an open house or a gathering at a favorite place.
At these gatherings, family members or friends may present a program of reminiscence, where they exchange favorite stories of the deceased and reflect on the contributions made by that person. An important facet of any of these service events is to acknowledge the mourning process, and acknowledge the death and the loss that follows. It is also important to encourage the expression of feelings, and speak directly about the individual life that has been lived.
A traditional funeral service is a type of service compatible with the deceased and the bereaved beliefs and traditions. In most cases, a traditional funeral service includes several common elements. A gathering of family and community is held at a church or funeral home, most often with the casketed body present. The casket may be open or closed, and there is generally a defined order of service. The service is often followed by the burial, but in some traditions, may be followed by cremation. The service is normally organized by custom, tradition, or religious law to provide structure for the mourning and grief process, and speaks about the death and loss.
Traditional services are focused with the family, friends, and members of the community of the deceased invited to participate. A wide range of services, from simple to elaborate, is available.
Regardless of the type of funeral service, acknowledging the death of a loved one can be important to the future adjustment of the survivors. The deceased or their survivors may not belong to a community that has a defined funeral service, or they may be in a situation where a traditional service would be inappropriate. In these cases, memorial services and receptions can be chosen as an alternative to traditional services. These events are less formal than traditional services.
Rausch-Lundeen funeral homes will provide facilities for receptions or can assist you with arranging them. As a focal point of the service, pictures of the deceased, memorabilia from his or her life, hobby items or mementos may be brought to the place of gathering. This is a way of focusing on the life of the person being remembered. Memorial services can be held in a funeral home, church, private home, or almost any place of community gathering. Receptions give family and friends an opportunity to support each other in their loss, to renew relationship bonds and to formalize new relationships that no longer include the active participation of the deceased.