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  Who should be invited to a funeral?
This is a lot like asking “who should be invited to a wedding?” People who would want to be there. A person’s role at a funeral is two-fold: one, they are there to demonstrate support for the bereaved family; two, funeral guests are there to tend to their own sorrow; to begin to come to terms, in the safety of a shared collective experience, with the death of someone they held dear. While it’s not common to send out invitations to a funeral (generally, the service details are published in the newspaper or online, and those who wish to attend, do) it does make a certain amount of sense to reach out to certain individuals by phone, email, or social media to ensure they are aware of the service date/time (and express your desire for their presence).
When preparing the guest list for a funeral service, you should both listen to your heart and use common sense. You know the people that mattered most to your loved one, as well as those who mattered least. Whatever you do, don’t invite more people than the venue can comfortably handle.
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 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.
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. Without going into too much detail, the deceased is temporarily preserved by embalming, refrigeration, or a combination of the two. They are washed, dressed, and otherwise groomed; then placed in the chosen casket for viewing. Should you wish to know more about the process, contact us.
If it makes people uncomfortable, why is it necessary to view the deceased in the casket?
Human beings are interesting creatures: sometimes we need to see in order to truly believe. It’s a way of confirming the fact that, indeed, this individual is dead; but it’s also an opportunity to say your “good- byes.” You may find it a cathartic time where you can quietly share a long-held secret, let go of any anger or resentment, and otherwise come to terms with their death.
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.
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