Get Adobe Flash player

What You Should Know About Pallbearers

Pallbearers are those people who carry or escort the casket at the funeral of a loved one. Usually, pallbearers are close friends or family members of the deceased, and they can be either men or women.

Being a pallbearer is a great honor and signifies that the pallbearer had a very special relationship with the deceased. Usually, there are about six to eight pallbearers in a funeral as there are eight handles three on each side, and one each at the front and back in a casket. Depending on the design of the casket, sometimes, there may only be the handles on the sides.

The responsibility of a pallbearer is to carry the casket from the venue of the funeral to the hearse or funeral coach. Then, if there is a cemetery burial after the funeral service, the pallbearers must carry the casket from the hearse to the site of burial. Moreover, if the funeral service is closed casket, the pallbearers usually bring in the casket at the start of the ceremony. However, for an open casket funeral, the casket will already be placed at the venue by the staff of the funeral home you have hired.

How to choose a pallbearer

While choosing a pallbearer, it is important to keep in mind that this is a very special and honorable responsibility which should be filled in only by the people who were extremely close to the deceased. Whether it is a father, mother, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, cousin, husband, wife, or best friend, it is crucial that a pallbearer is emotionally, mentally and physical capable of carrying out the task.

If any person is unfit mentally, emotionally or physically, then they can serve as an honorary pallbearer. This means that they can walk alongside the actual pallbearers without having to carry the casket.

Thanks for reading,
Karen

Most Popular Hymns For Funeral Ceremonies

Hymns are perhaps the most popular choice of music in funeral ceremonies. After all, it is easy to find peace and comfort in singing a beautiful, melodious religious song while you say your last goodbyes to your departed loved one. Below, we list out the most popular hymns often sung at funeral services:

  • In the Sweet By and By

This hymn conjures up images of peace and serenity, reminding us though we may say our goodbyes now, we will meet our loved ones again in heaven. A song that is so strong in faith and hopeful is always a good choice when we need to hear these words the most.

  • Amazing Grace

Even though the lyrics of this hymn may have nothing to do with losing a loved one, it is a timeless Christian song that is ideal in any religious event. The song lets us know that we have all been saved by God and helps us give thanks to His “amazing grace.”

  • Great is Thy Faithfulness

This hymn provides a sense of comfort to those who have suffered a great loss. It reminds them that even though things may change and we may lose our loved ones, Gods love and compassion for us will always remain the same.

  • It is Well with My Soul

This hymn reminds us that whatever happens, no matter what tragedy strikes us, if we have God, we learn to accept these experiences and instead of letting them tear us down, we learn from them and become wiser and stronger.

  • Old Rugged Cross

The lyrics of this song are very powerful, yet soothing to those who have lost a friend or a family member. It reminds us that even if our loved one has left this earth, they are now in a better place with God, just like how Jesus died on the “old rugged cross” and went to be with His Father.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Top Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing A Funeral Home

Funeral planning is not an easy experience. You have to make necessary arrangements and do what you must despite having lost a loved one. This is why most people who plan funerals, understandably, often do not think straight and make rational decisions with a clear head.

At National Memorial Planning, we understand this ordeal that many people go through. So, to make the experience easier for you, here are the top 5 questions you should always before deciding on a funeral home.

  1. How many years have you been in business?

With experience comes expertise. So, dont forget to ask the funeral home how long they have been in business. Enquire if it is family owned because usually, family owned funeral homes are passed down from generation, meaning that they have years of experience.

  1. How many people can fit in your chapel?

Knowing how big the chapel is and how many people can fit in will help you plan the funeral in an organized and systematic manner. If possible, visit the funeral home yourself to see how well it can accommodate your plans.

  1. Am I free to choose any service despite my faith/personal beliefs?

All kinds of services like cremation, embalming, viewing and burial should be provided to you, regardless of your faith or personal beliefs. It should be noted that embalming is not legally required.

  1. What are your funeral packages like?

Remember to ask what kind of offers or packages they offer so you can get the best deal possible. Funeral homes should have packages ranging from basic to all-inclusive.

  1. What are the payment options available to me?

Funerals can be expensive. So, make sure to ask what payment options are available to you. For instance, the funeral home may be open to working with an insurance company or arrange for a financial assistance.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Choose The Perfect Funeral Song

We all know that picking out music for any occasion is no simple task. The songs or pieces we choose will set the mood and tone of the entire occasion, whatever it may be. But, its even more difficult to choose a song for a funeral, whether we are planning our own funeral in advance or its for the funeral of a loved one.

As difficult as it may be, the music played at someones funeral is an important and memorable part of the entire service, and often what people will remember most. So, if you want a meaningful song that people will remember you with, or you want someone you have lost to be remembered with a particular song, here are some tips on how to choose the perfect funeral song.

  1. Choose something personal and meaningful

The most important factor to consider is that the song or music you choose should be meaningful. And for that, it has to be personal. It doesnt matter if it does not sound like your usual funeral music. What matters is that it has meaning, and the deceased will be remembered with that music.

  1. Think of how you want people to feel at the funeral

It is well-known that music has the power to make us feel a certain way. The kind of music we listen to can effectively influence our mood. So, before choosing a song, consider how the song will make people feel at the funeral. Will it make them feel the way you want them to?

  1. Carefully go through the lyrics first

Before you settle with a song, make sure to go through the lyrics first and understand the meaning. Lyrics are as important as the tune. For example, the words of a song may not be ideal for the kind of funeral you want, or the ideas presented in the song may not match yours or the deceased.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Planning For A Burial

Burying the loved ones along with their favorite objects has been an age old practice. Burial practices are in fact as old as human evolution and date as far back as 100,000 years or more. It is a ritual that indicates respect for the departed and in certain cultures, it is a required step so that the departed soul can enter back into the cycle of birth or afterlife.

To protect the physical remains, embalming, use of caskets, burial vaults, grave liners and more have been traditionally used. Choosing to bury your departed loved family member can involve making decisions on many aspects including:

  • Whether the physical remains of the loved one would be buried on a private property that you have earmarked or in the regulated cemetery. Certain legislation in some states may not allow burial on private property.
  • Whether the burial will be at sea
  • Burial in a crypt inside the mausoleum

While the wishes of the loved one will be the main consideration, choosing a burial could also be:

  • A religious or cultural practice
  • Family tradition
  • Loved ones dislike of cremation using flames
  • Desire for a natural burial surrounded by trees or open spaces

Other decisions that will need to be made include:

  • Embalming
  • Type of casket and vaults
  • Selection of the monument, grave marker or headstone
  • Words that will be put on the headstone or monument
  • Graveside service

Depending on the family and the departed loved ones preferences, there are a range of caskets, monuments and memorials available. While the caskets have to be chosen from steel, wood, semi-precious metal caskets to veterans caskets, there are plenty of color and size options for monuments and memorials made of granite.

Graveside services also depend on the familys emotional and traditional requirements. A professional burial planning services provider can help out with simple to elaborate arrangements and products for the burial.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Make Your Funeral Wishes Known To Your Loved Ones

 

Talking about death is not the most uplifting and pleasant conversation to have, especially regarding your own death. However, when your time comes, if you would like your funeral conducted in a certain way, or have other funeral wishes you want fulfilled, it is necessary that you speak to your loved ones about it in an open manner.

 

To make this process easier for you, here are some useful tips we would like to offer:

 

  • Have your whole family gather together, and be direct and open in communicating your wishes to them

First, you have to gather everyone you want to impart your wishes to parents, siblings, partner, children, etc in a single room. Make sure you choose a quiet, peaceful and private room where you and the people closest to you can discuss the topic openly. When you tell them your wishes, be direct. Tell them clearly if you want to be buried or cremated, who you want the pallbearers to be, who you want to give the eulogy, etc.

 

  • Remember to reassure them that your aim is to help, not to upset

Granted this will be an emotional conversation, especially if you are in poor health and death is imminent. So, make sure to reassure your loved ones that the point of having this conversation and imparting your last wishes to them is so that they can be relieved of at least some amount of stress during a rough time, and that your intention is not to upset them.

 

  • Include a written copy of your funeral wishes in a file and give copies to your family members

Write down, in a detailed manner, your funeral wishes and put the original copy in a file, disbursing copies to your family members. Be sure to include your disposition preferences, favorite items (such as color and flowers), any songs that you would like played at your service, information to be included in your obituary, military service information, and preferences on speakers at your service.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

How To Personalize Funeral Services In Honor Of Your Loved Ones

Funeral services are an important ritual that not only helps us to let go of our loved ones, but also remember them and honor their memory in the presence of all that knew them. As such, many people may like to organize a funeral that truly reflects the kind of person the deceased was and the kind of life they lived.

If you too would like to hold a funeral service that will honor the memory of a loved one in a special and unique way, here are some creative tips on how to personalize a funeral service.

  1. Customize their casket or urn

You can have the casket or urn customized in such a way that it truly reflects the deceased. For example, you can decorate it with their favorite possession, or items that are representative of who they were as a person like their career, passion or hobby.

  1. Use their passion as an inspiration

Think about what made your loved one most happy. What were they passionate about? What did they invest most of their time and energy in? Use this passion of theirs as a theme for the funeral. For example, if they loved volunteering and charity work, you can invite guests to make donations for a cause that was close to their heart.

  1. Get creative with photo displays

Gather old photos that best reflect the kind of person they were, and tell their life story through these pictures. You can make a collage, hand pictures all over the service location, make wreaths out of such photos, etc.

  1. Ask guests to share their favorite memory

A unique and sweet way to remember your loved one is to ask all the guests to write down their favorite memory with them, along with their names. This is a creative replacement for a registry as well.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Early Planning for Proper Farewells

Making all the necessary arrangements for bidding a proper farewell to your loved ones and this world requires some time and preparation. Funeral services are the last parting gesture connecting one to this world. There are important details and expectations regarding how one might want to depart from this world. There are internment decision to be made (burial, cremation, burial at sea, donation, medicine, eulogies obituaries, and so on), things that you would want to leave behind and how you want to be treated on your final day. All of this requires pre-planning. It is advised to draw up an estimate of cost based on ones expectations.

There are quite a few financially beneficial options present such as funeral insurance, pre-booking of cemetery space, and pre-need contracts for funeral services. Your final resting place should be a place of your approval. So, it is wise to make an early choice on the type of casket or urn of your preference. Pre-need vessels are quite common today. You might also want to organize all your personal information and documents. This will make things easier while framing your obituary.

There are a variety of funeral events that can be organized at the final day. You can choose to observe your religious rites or have a wake. You can also have a viewing or a gathering of your friends and family afterwards. You can choose services or acts carried out to honor your last wishes. Make an early note of them. Decide upon your favorite song or hymn that you would like to be played on that day. Finally, draw up a list of people that you would want to be notified after your departure. Your family, friends, and colleagues at various organizations, whoever you think would be affected, should be on the list. With careful pre-planning and management of resources, you can make your final day a profound gesture to your loved ones.

How Funeral Services Help In Coping with Grief

It is often said that where words are not enough, you can turn to rituals. This is perhaps most true when it comes to the loss of a loved one. Death is something no one is prepared to face and no one can get used to, and coming to terms with it can be extremely difficult. Death is much more than sudden absence, it is about losing a bond, losing a presence. Its losing a loved one, and it is never easy.

However, rituals like funeral services can help us cope with this grief in more ways than we may understand. Below are the different ways funeral services aid us in the mourning process of death, and perhaps, help us learn to let go.

  • Funeral services help you accept the reality of loss

One of the most difficult aspects of someones death is actually acknowledging it. It may seem quite simple, but anyone who have experienced it will understand just how confusing and difficult it can be. A funeral service provides a physical, tangible time and space of departure, making it easier to say goodbye.

  • Funeral services help you celebrate the life lived

Funeral services are an opportunity to remember the person who has died, and celebrate the life he/she has lived. It is a time to bring back fond memories, so you can keep them in your hearts forever in the way they would want to be remembered.

  • Funeral services help you to express grief

Another benefit of funeral services is that they allow us to openly express our grief and mourn the loss of our loved ones. Grieving is an important process that can help us to accept and understand the reality of death.

 

  • Funeral services help you to receive support

Funeral services bring family and friends together in one place, allowing you to lean on each other for much needed emotional support during hard times. Hearing comforting words from others, even just their presence makes the journey easier.

On Burials and Cremation

Planning for the end of life can be a daunting task. Be it the departing of a loved one or your own personal plans, its a ceremony that involves a lot of people and proceedings. There are legacy considerations, legal obligations, religious rites and planning a proper farewell. With proper care and planning, you can make the most of your days and let everyone know what your final wishes are. In the recent times, typical funerals are being overtaken by a ceremonious celebration of ones life.

Planning a funeral has several aspects to it. You need to gather the family and loved ones for a meeting and present them with the news. You need to then plan the ceremony step by step, taking into consideration everyones inputs and delegate work accordingly. You need to make an assessment of the personal preferences and choices of the departed. Preferred modes of cremation/burial are to be selected. Apart from funeral urns and caskets, today we also have keepsake artifacts and jewelry that lets you keep a part of your loved ones ashes.

Elaborate grave marking and headstone services are available today that allow for customized places of final rest. Once you have an idea of all the steps involved in the ceremony, it is important to make an estimate of the cost. You should account for things like refreshments for the guests, music requests of the deceased or any other personal ceremonies requested, proper facilities for making speeches and eulogies and costs of proper burial. You should consider simplifying your ceremonies if the costs exceed your budget. There is no harm in toning down some of the superficial details as long as its a proper farewell.

Today there are many professional funeral planning services and forums available. They present a wide range of packages to choose from. They plan your every step of the funeral for you including taking care of cremation. However, in order to utilize their services, you need to be the one to make the first call. Everyone should plan for their end of life. Bidding a proper farewell to the world is as important as celebrating life.