Visitations and funeral services are an important ritual in the funeral process. Visitations give mourners a chance to pay their respects to the deceased and to offer support and condolences to the deceased’s family. Funeral services allow the bereaved family to have a formal goodbye with their loved one there.
When visitations and funeral services are held before cremation, the deceased will be embalmed. When a visitation and funeral service is held before cremation, it will be necessary to select a combustible casket, suitable for cremation.
Funeral services generally follow a traditional format that includes a review of the deceased’s life, readings that were important to or describe the deceased, eulogies by close friends, a spiritual component, prayer, and music.
Whoever is officiating the funeral service will generally begin the service by thanking everyone for coming, and then reading the obituary. Each person who participates in the funeral service will be listed in order in the funeral program and each one will know in advance when their turn to pay tribute to the deceased is within the funeral service.
Usually readings follow the initial greeting at a funeral service. Poetry is a very common selection, as are Bible scriptures. It is not, however, uncommon for sections of prose – from essays, from novels, from works of non-fiction – to be included in this part of the funeral service.
Next eulogies are given. Eulogies are sometimes given by family members of the deceased, but typically these are so intimate and emotional that grieving family members aren’t able, at this point, to do them. Instead, very close friends are chosen to give eulogies. Eulogies are intimate portraits that paint a picture of the essence of who the deceased was. They highlight character traits like nobility, kindness, generosity, love, care, and concern. They also tell stories that give into who the deceased was in terms of relationships and life and how they impacted the world around them.
Some sort of spiritual message is usually included in a funeral service, even if the deceased did not have any official religious affiliation. This part of the service is done to give the family and the mourners attending comfort, hope, and encouragement. Often, a clergy member will participate in this part of the service and read short selections from the Bible that talk about the promises of seeing deceased loved ones again, healthy, whole, and well.
Next, a prayer is read or said. Within that prayer are included requests for help and comfort for the bereaved family, as well as expressions of thankfulness for the deceased’s life and for the mourners who have come to show their respect, and a request for safe travels as the family and mourners go home.
Music can be interspersed throughout the service or it can be played at the end. Many funerals have music just at the end of the formal service. The music can be one of the deceased’s favorite songs, or it can be a song that was significant in the life of the deceased and the bereaved family, or it can be a song about dying or death, or a hymn of comfort. The choice is yours.
For our entire range of cremations services available to you, you can speak with our compassionate and experienced team at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home. You can visit our funeral home at 483 Chenango St., Binghamton, NY 13901, or you can call us today at (607) 722-4023.