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 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why is having a funeral ceremony important?
Throughout human history, and around the globe, people have gathered together to acknowledge the death of a member of the community. No matter who the deceased was, a funeral ceremony is the one (and sometimes the only) opportunity for everyone to come together to acknowledge the death, recognize the community’s shared loss, and share the burden of grief.
How does the cost for a funeral ceremony compare to the cost of a memorial service or celebration of life?
The cost of any of the three is totally dependent on the choices you make during the arrangement conference.
Is it necessary to have flowers at the ceremony?
Flowers create a background of warmth and beauty which adds to the dignity and consolation of the funeral service. “Necessary” may not be the right word but there’s no doubt flowers at a funeral or other end- of-life ceremony serve valuable purposes including a means of a visual expression of sympathy, love, and respect or a means of lending support.
What’s involved in preparing the deceased for viewing at a visitation or funeral?
The preparation of the deceased can involve a number of different tasks performed by trained and licensed embalmers and restorative artists. The deceased may be temporarily preserved by embalming, refrigeration, or a combination of the two. They may also be simply washed, dressed, groomed; then placed in the chosen casket for viewing. The decisions are made together with the family during the funeral arrangement process. Should you wish to know more about the process, contact us.
What does the phrase “in lieu of flowers” mean?
You may have read this phrase in an obituary: “In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to...” Derived from the French phrase, “en lieu”, strictly speaking, “in lieu” means “in place”; so it can be said to be a directive sentence: “In place of flowers, contributions may be made to...” But it’s really important to realize that its use doesn’t imply you can’t send flowers to the service; it is only meant to offer you a choice of ways to show your sympathy for the family and show your respects for the deceased. Only when the obituary states “no flowers please” are you being requested to abstain from sending floral tributes or sympathy arrangements
If one is requested, am I obligated to make a memorial donation?
Certainly not; it’s important to never feel obligated to do anything in response to the death of a community or family member. Your actions (whether sending flowers, preparing a casserole and taking it to the family home, or making a donation) should always come from the heart.
How long is a funeral service?
Simply put, it depends on the service. Just as no two movies or novels are the same length or cover the same emotional ground, no two end-of-life ceremonies are the same.
What is a celebrant?
The Certified Celebrants of Canada define celebrants as trained professionals who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. Celebrants are neutral, do not represent religion, and are there to serve the families. This makes them especially valuable when a family has no religious affiliations or ties to a clergy person or minister who can officiate the funeral service. Involving a celebrant in the funeral planning process has been found to enhance the funeral experience for all concerned. Through careful interviewing, the celebrant elicits what is meaningful for each client. If you think hiring a celebrant is the right choice for your family’s situation, contact us for more details.

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