What Is A Funeral?

There are few of us today who are not at least marginally familiar with what a basic funeral is all about. We may have attended the funeral, wake, celebration-of-life, etc., of a family member, close friend, fellow employee, or someone else. Funerals of days gone by differ greatly from some of the services being held today, however. As an example, a celebration-of-life tends to be exactly what it implies – a celebratory event in honor of the person who has passed away. Some of these can even border on all out parties!

Old-school funerals were usually extremely religious, somber, sad, etc. Additionally, whereas a casket was frequently at the front of the room during old-school funerals/wakes (and still can be in a more traditional setting), cremations have become common. In this case, if the family so chooses, a decorative urn is placed in the front of the room and, sometimes, keepsakes with a small amount of cremated remains are distributed to relatives, close friends, etc.

Let's look more closely at funerals and what they entail.

A Basic Funeral

When someone passes away, connected with their cremation or burial, a ceremony is held. This has been and still is referred to as a funeral. To respect and remember the deceased, certain cultures rely on a complex of practices and beliefs as funerary customs. This can include prayers, monuments, rituals, interment, and other practices to honor the person who has passed away. Secular motivations commonly include the following:

  • Celebrating the life of the deceased.
  • Mourning the deceased.
  • Offering sympathy and support to the bereaved.
  • Assist the soul of the deceased to reach reincarnation/resurrection/the afterlife through religious aspects.

Typically, friends, family members, and other loved ones are in attendance. Various religions and/or countries have funerals/ceremonies that can differ greatly.

Types of Funerals

Though, dependent on the country and/or religion there can be many types of funerals, some of the funerals taking place in America can include any the following:

  • Fire/police services
  • High government official
  • Green (eco-friendly)
  • Veterans’ services/burials
  • Masonic
  • Humanist and others not religiously affiliated
  • Jazz funeral (New Orleans)
  • Celebration-of-life, and more

Funerals That Are Self Planned

Today, more and more individuals are planning their own funerals. The benefit of preplanning your funeral is, more or less, in consideration of your family/spouse/partner/etc. If you have ever had a close family member or friend pass away, you know the grief that is experienced. During a difficult time such as this, taking the burden of funeral planning off the shoulders of your loved ones is, indeed, a considerable gift.

Inquire with the funeral home of your choice as to how to preplan your funeral.

Planning a Funeral?

At American Heritage Cemetery Funeral Home Crematory, we consider ourselves a community gathering place, not just a funeral home. It is a welcome place to celebrate life and honor every memory. Through the most difficult moments in your life, we are here to guide you. We understand that every life is worth celebrating, unique, and worthy of honor.

Whether you are leaning toward a traditional funeral or something more modern, such as a celebration- of-life, we are here to help.

Contact us today at American Heritage Cemetery Funeral Home Crematory to discuss details, ask questions, or set up an appointment.