Why We Have Funerals

funeral homes

The funeral process at funeral homes is full of rituals and symbols that allow the memory of the deceased to be honored, enable friends and family to say goodbye, and provide care and empathy for the family that has lost a loved one.

One funeral ritual is the visitation or viewing. This usually precedes the actual funeral service and is an allotted period of time for mourners to visit with the family and, if there’s a viewing, to pay their respects to the person who has died.

Since funerals have a more somber quality to them than celebrations of life. The visitation is a quiet, low-key event where people stop briefly to talk with the family, express condolences, offer support, and then proceed to a seat to wait for the funeral service to start.

The funeral service itself is highly-customizable in content, but the structure usually includes readings, eulogies, a short sermon (if the person was religious), music, and a prayer.

The readings are often poems or parts of books that were important to the deceased. They often give new insights into who the deceased was, what mattered to them, and how they thought and lived life. They honor the wholeness of the person that people may have only known in a specific and limited context, such as work or in a social or sports association.

Eulogies are sometimes given by family members, but because this is such an emotional time for them, they are most often given by the deceased’s closest friends. Eulogies, in general, speak to the character of the deceased. They draw a portrait of the deceased through history and with stories that point to what made the deceased’s life important, how they impacted people and the world around them, and what kind of relationships they cultivated along the way.

If a sermon is given, it will be short. Unless the deceased’s pastor knew in advance what spiritual insights or message the deceased would have wanted conveyed, the sermon will focus on hope, the future, and healing, using scriptures to encourage the family and the mourners that the deceased is in good hands and that they will all see each other again.

Music, like the readings, will reflect the tastes and sentiments of the deceased. There are no boundaries on what type of music can be used during funeral services. Songs may have been chosen by the deceased, or they may be chosen by members of the family to recall a special memory of the deceased.

The final part of the funeral service itself is a prayer. This is a prayer for the family and for other mourners. It will ask for comfort, peace, and healing in the days, weeks, months and years ahead for everybody.

After the prayer, the funeral director will make any announcements regarding other services. The graveside service may be held directly after the funeral service or it may be held the next day. The funeral director will give instructions for the graveside services, as well as providing the name of the cemetery where burial will take place and what time the services will begin.

If you need more information about sending flowers to funeral homes, our empathetic and knowledgeable staff at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home can assist you. You can stop by our funeral home at 483 Chenango St., Binghamton, NY 13901, or you can contact us today at (607) 722-4023.