The American funeral has changed more in the past
few years than in the prior fifty years. It used
to be that the "Traditional Funeral" was pretty much
the same. A wake or visitation period, which lasted
anywhere from one to three days, followed by a
church service and burial in the cemetery. Yet today,
there is no such thing as a "Traditional Funeral".
People are choosing funeral services that are more
reflective of the person and fit the lifestyle of
the family. And with more and more ethnic groups
living in our city, traditional funerals now
incorporate many of the customs and ceremonies
of different cultures. In any given year, Croley
Funeral Home conducts funeral services for Catholic,
Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Buddist and Hindu
families, not to mention families that opt for
non-religious, humanistic services. Given the
diverse group of families that we serve and the
different options that we provide, there are many
choices available when it comes to a funeral.
To give our client families and friends some guidance in
selecting a funeral service that is meaningful, we have
put together answers to questions about different types
of funeral options.
What is The Difference Between A Funeral and Memorial Service?
Really the only difference between these two services is whether
or not the body is present. A funeral service is conducted with
the presence of the body and a memorial service is conducted in
memory of the person, without the presence of the full body. To
learn more about memorial services, visit our cremation section
of this guide.
Why is a Funeral Service Important?
In the earliest recorded times, societies honored the dead
through ceremonies. According to beliefs at that time, the
purpose of the ritual was to properly send the decedent on
the journey into the next life. Today, however, psychologists
and other experts agree that the benefits of the funeral are
for those left behind; those who must reconstruct their lives
following their loss. Before family and friends can fully
adjust to their loss, survivors must express their grief in
ways meaningful to them. They must face, openly and realistically,
the fact that death has indeed occurred. The funeral provides
the opportunity to do exactly that.
What Is The Purpose of Embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition
process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic
death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time
between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members
time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting
What Times Are Available For A Visitation?
While we provide guidance with respect to visitation periods, we
leave the actual time up to the family. Visitations may extend to
multiple days or may take place in just an hour or so before the
funeral service. Morning, afternoon and evening hours are available
during the week or on weekends. It all depends upon the needs of the
family. At Croley we have no closing time and we are there to care
for you needs.
Why Do Funerals Seem So Expensive?
When compared to other major life cycle events, like
births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding
costs at least three times as much; but because it is a
happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral
home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive
facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.);
these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral.
Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise,
like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making
arrangements, filing appropriate forms, dealing with doctors,
ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all
the necessary details.
Can You Still Have a Traditional Funeral With Cremation?
Just because someone is interested in cremation does not mean that
the family cannot have a viewing and funeral service. All of the
customs and ceremonies associated with a traditional funeral can
still be performed prior to the cremation taking place. For these
occasions, we offer economical cremation caskets and rental caskets.
Where Can a Funeral Be Held?
Traditionally, funerals are held in a church, which is still
a common practice today. However, there are several other options.
Funeral services may be held at the funeral home in our Chapel
or can even be held at the gravesite or cemetery chapel.
How Can A Funeral Be Personalized?
It is becoming more common to tailor a funeral service to the
personality of the deceased. Prayers and remembrances offered
by family and friends, favorite music, treasured belongings,
pictures and mementos can all play a major role in making the
final tribute fitting and moving. The family can choose to
assemble a display containing family photographs, favorite
possessions, items from a hobby or awards the deceased received.
These items help shift the emphasis of the services to the memories
of the person's life, rather than on the circumstances of his or
her death. Personalization can also be added by simply choosing
the most appropriate services and products available from the
funeral home. These include cremation and its various service
options, participating in a living memorial program, or
purchasing a burial plot below the canopy of a sturdy oak tree.
What Cemetery Options Are Available For Burial?
Most funerals in North America conclude with earth burial,
which is burying the remains contained in a casket into the
ground. Purchases made for this option generally include a casket,
a vault, a cemetery plot and a headstone or grave marker. Above
ground entombment is provided in mausoleums, buildings designed
and maintained to house human remains. Mausoleums are especially
popular in certain regions of North America, and the availability
and price ranges of mausoleum crypts vary depending on geographic
location. In our area, there are several cemeteries that operate