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Dressing Properly For a Funeral
Jul 12, 2021   03:56 PM
by Karen

It can be tricky trying to determine what you should wear to a funeral service. While you may be of the opinion that the life of the deceased person deserves to be celebrated, it’s important to remember that people will be mourning at a funeral. Your aim of attending the funeral is to pay your respects, not to draw attention to yourself. In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to about dressing right for a funeral.     

Choose the right color

Blacks, dark grays, blues, and whites are considered appropriate colors for a funeral, although black is the most common. This will, of course, differ based on the culture so be sensitive to this and stick to plain colors. You should avoid bright colors like red, pink, yellow, and orange as these are not usually funeral colors.

For women, modest outfits that don’t grab a lot of attention are ideal funeral attire to wear. These include things like dark dresses, pant suits, sleeved blouses and tops, dark suits, and dress shoes.

For men, stick to conservative options that can’t go wrong such as white shirts, dark dress slacks with sports coats, ties that aren't flashy, and dress shoes. Remember, dress to blend in and dress based on how formal the funeral service is. 

It’s a good idea to avoid wearing scented body lotions or perfumes as people at the service may be allergic. The last thing you want is to set off an allergic reaction in someone coming to pay their respects.

There’s nothing wrong with finding out what you can wear from the funeral director or immediate family member of the deceased. This will show them you’re being respectful and help you dress appropriately.  

Some funerals may just be different

While black and other plain colors may work well for most funerals, some funerals can truly be different. Relatives of the deceased should inform you in such cases and you can dress appropriately to honor the wishes of the deceased.


Thanks for reading,


Your Guide To Small & Private Funerals
Jun 16, 2021   11:56 AM
by Karen

The final goodbye or send off for your loved one is important in almost every culture. This is what makes funerals important for individuals. While hosting a traditional funeral in a funeral home may be an option, many people opt for a small, private funeral for their loved ones. This has become even more common with the pandemic, where there is a need to limit the number of people attending the funeral.

Small, private funerals aren’t open to anyone from the public mourning the deceased person. They’re only open to close family members and friends who have been invited for the funeral service.

Beside health concerns and following protocols during the pandemic, private funerals are popular because:

  • They help to cut costs associated with funerals, reducing the financial burden on the family of the deceased.
  • They give the family of the deceased some privacy in their time of grief. Close family and friends and express their grief more openly, without having to worry about putting on a brave front.


How do you plan a private funeral? To plan a private funeral, you should:

  1. Create your guest list first.
  2. It is imperative that you mention that it is a private funeral in the obituary or death announcement made so that people know that it is on an invite only basis.
  3. Decide on a budget based on what will be carried out during the funeral. This will be much lesser than the cost of a traditional funeral.
  4. Choose a venue where the private funeral will be carried out. It could be in the home of a family member or a park. Private funerals aren’t governed by the same location restrictions that apply to traditional funerals.
  5. You can also arrange for small meals or bites to be served at the private funeral.
  6. Remember to send your invitations only to those on the guest list.

With the convenience that private funerals offer, they’re definitely becoming an option.


Thanks for reading, 


Live streaming funerals
Mar 09, 2021   08:55 AM
by Karen

Live streaming funerals may not have always been the go-to option for families of the deceased, but the restrictions on travel and gatherings imposed due to the pandemic have made it so.

Live streaming is a great way for relatives and friends who aren’t around to pay respect to the deceased. It also creates a safer environment and is a convenient option, especially when a funeral has to be conducted soon due to religious practices or medical needs. Not only will live streaming a funeral help to reduce expenses associated with the funeral, but it will also give families a recording of the services that they can keep close to their hearts.

Here’s what you need to pay attention to while live streaming a funeral.

Check out the funeral home services

Several funeral homes are equipped with the technology and resources to offer live streaming services. In such cases, all you have to do is pay for the live streaming service and let them handle the rest. Some funeral homes may even offer it for free as part of the funeral service itself, so find out which funeral homes offer such services.

Look for a professional

As a relative of the deceased, you’re going to want to spend your time actually being present at the funeral service instead of worrying about the technology and live streaming. You are, after all, mourning the loss of a loved one, so hiring a professional will give you peace knowing that the live streaming is happening as planned without you needing to actually do anything about it.

Get organized if you’re going to be video sharing

If you decide to live stream the funeral yourself, you need to plan ahead so that there are no interruptions during the service. This means making sure you have a high quality video recording equipment like a DSLR camera or camcorder, choosing a high quality microphone that will keep background noises out, picking the most conducive video sharing platform, and informing relatives and friends to join via the link provided. Don’t forget to record it so that you have a copy for yourself.  


Thanks for reading,


Essential Tips to Finish Paperwork For a Smooth Funeral
Nov 23, 2020   09:18 AM
by Karen

 Both burials and cremations require certain approvals and disclosures. Funeral homes must have the appropriate paperwork before carrying out the funeral process.

The following documents should be produced for a hassle-free funeral arrangement.

  1. Recent clear photograph.
  2. Marriage certificates wherever applicable.
  3. Funeral insurance if applicable.
  4. Birth certificate.
  5. Military discharge documents if applicable.
  6. Ownership proof of cemetery property if applicable.
  7. Names of surviving relatives with last known addresses.

The Ordeal Of Grieving And Foraging For Documents

Imagine the harrowing experience of a dear person's departure and the compulsion to search for vital documents. People have energy only to mourn and not to undertake serious tasks. Everyone can avoid such a disastrous situation with a little planning.

How to arrange the paperwork for a funeral

If you are the person in charge of carrying out the funeral, find out whether the deceased person had made any arrangements. If you can get hold of the details, the procedures will be very easy. In a different scenario, inform the experienced employees of the funeral home about your predicament. They will give proper guidance for a smooth funeral.

Getting A Death Certificate

There is no need to elaborate on the requirement of a death certificate. The funeral home will help you to get it by issuing the basic document. This will reach the health department through a doctor authorized to verify similar matters.

Funeral homes need the below information to prepare the death certificate:

  • Marital status.
  • Name of spouse if alive.
  • Social security number.
  • Names of parents.
  • The Highest level of formal education.
  • Last job held.
  • Place of death.

Go to an experienced funeral home

The best solution for a smooth farewell to your loved person's soul is approaching a reputable funeral home. They will understand your grief and the situation to guide you through the rough times.


Thanks for reading,


How Long Can You Delay a Funeral?
Oct 12, 2020   11:48 AM
by Karen

When a death occurs, especially if it is an unexpected death, it can take time to make the necessary funeral arrangements, gather the funds for funeral expenses, or wait for family members, relatives and friends to reach from different cities or countries. There could be multiple reasons why you may not be able to conduct a funeral soon after death, and in such cases, just how long can you delay the funeral for?

In the U.S., funerals are usually held three to seven days after the death of the person. Sometimes, it may take even two weeks to have a funeral. It depends on your personal situation such as availability of funds, your religious beliefs, the final wishes of the deceased, etc.

No laws on when funeral should be held

If you need to delay a funeral, for how long can you delay it? In the U.S., there is no law that states the minimum or maximum number of days you have after someone’s death to hold a funeral. This means that you can delay a funeral for as long as you need to.

However, as soon as someone dies, their body starts to decompose, which is why holding a funeral ceremony is usually time-sensitive. But thanks to modern preservation processes like embalming and refrigeration, families of the deceased have more time to make funeral arrangements. If you have a freezer or a refrigeration unit to preserve the body, it is even possible to delay the funeral indefinitely.

Personal beliefs and religious considerations

Some religions require the body to be buried within just a day or two. If the deceased belonged to such a religion or if their personal beliefs are in alignment with this, it is best to make arrangements that honor their last wishes.


Thanks for reading,


How the COVID-19 outbreak affects funeral homes
Mar 31, 2020   09:34 AM
by Karen

While the nation prepares itself to face the brunt of the COVID-19 outbreak, the question arises – how does this pandemic affect funeral homes? They deal with death, a job that often survives the impact of recession.

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the way the funeral homes function and conduct their business. While they already have measures in place to prevent disease, they still have to implement stringent protocols. The reason is to comply with the directives of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

New directives from the Texas DSHS

Texas DSHS, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been working to respond to the outbreak. The commissioner of Texas DSHS, Dr. John Hellerstedt, announced on March 19, 2020, that this was a public health disaster.

As per the latest directive, businesses in the state have to follow sanitation, cleanliness, and hygiene practices, to curb the spread of the disease. It doesn’t permit social groups to have more than 10 members at a time. Also, it mandates that every individual maintains a minimum distance of six feet from other people. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) released a guide to inform funeral homes on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Impact of COVID-19 on funeral homes

Due to these directives, funeral homes now only permit small gatherings, with 10 people or less, with most of them being family members. Businesses are switching to live streams on the inter, to overcome the restrictions on the number of individuals who can attend the service.

Some families are postponing the funeral service, due to the challenges posed by the outbreak. Another obstacle that funeral homes are facing is to coordinate with cemeteries and churches, to find out whether they are open.

These businesses have always been ready to deal with infectious diseases by taking measures to ensure that everyone is safe and secure.


Thanks for reading,


Funeral Planning Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Mar 26, 2020   10:42 AM
by Karen

With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting life as we know it, we have had to make significant adjustments in our lives during the past several weeks. Some states and countries are in lockdown, while others are urging people not to go out.

These distressing times have made funerals very difficult. Whether you have lost a loved one to the virus or because of other reasons, you are denied long-serving traditions to which you are accustomed for saying your last goodbyes. Planning a funeral in normal circumstances is already difficult, and this current situation adds a whole other layer of stress.

Here are some tips that you may find helpful if you have to plan a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Plan and coordinate over the phone and video chats

While planning the funeral, it’s best to avoid meeting people in person and the best thing to do is work out everything over the phone, email, or video chats. The good news is that today, most funeral homes, as well as other businesses in the industry with whom you may need to get in touch, can coordinate with you over the phone and email, which makes the process much easier.

  • Live-stream the funeral

At this time, large congregations of people are not allowed. So, one thing you can do is live-stream the funeral so that people won’t actually be physically present. There are plenty of live-streaming devices you can use, which are user-friendly, easy to set up, and can be accessed with ease from a phone, tablet, or laptop.

  • Hold a memorial service at a later date

Nowadays, even before the pandemic, more and more families are opting to hold memorial services for their loved ones a few months after their death. This gives them more time to mourn properly and also reduces the stress of planning. While this is more ideal for cremation, if you are opting for burial, you can plan a small funeral now and plan a larger event for a later date.


Thanks for reading,


Funeral Dressing Etiquette
Mar 05, 2020   09:29 AM
by Karen

A funeral is a solemn service where people offer their last respects to the departed soul. You attend a funeral to offer condolences. It is advisable to dress modestly and conservatively. The purpose of dressing at a funeral is not to call attention towards yourself due to your attire.

Basic Etiquettes

Wear conservative colors and styles. Wearing all black is not always necessary. Simply wearing dark solid colors can also suffice. Avoid all bright colors or prints such as bright floral prints or wild prints.

Dressing Etiquette for Women

Women attending a funeral service can wear blouses and skirts. Dresses and pantsuits that don’t accentuate curves, legs or cleavage should be worn. Showing off too much skin in the form of plunging necklines and short hemlines is usually not acceptable. Wearing minimal accessories is another dressing etiquette that should be followed. It is advisable to wear low heeled shoes or flats. Keep the hairstyle and makeup natural and simple.

Dressing Etiquette for Men

Men should not wear a graphic or printed T-shirt to a funeral service. A conservative suit is an appropriate choice for such occasions. Men can also wear pants with a blazer or just a buttoned shirt with slacks. Men should avoid wearing a sports cap. Anything that is conservative and doesn't draw attention can be worn. Also keep the hairstyle simple. Usually pall bearers are asked to wear certain attire.


Although a person is expected to dress in a conservative manner, there can be religions or cultures that follow a different set of rules and dressing norms pertaining to a funeral service. If the deceased person belonged to a culture that is totally different from yours and you are unsure about what to wear, it is a good idea to ask. Some cultures consider a funeral as a celebration of life where the family of the deceased may even ask people to wear festive clothing.

If the deceased person was a veteran, then a military uniform can be an acceptable dress code for the funeral service if currently active in the military.

Dressing appropriately for a funeral shows respect for the deceased while preventing undue drama.


Thanks for reading,


Funeral Procession Etiquette
Dec 11, 2019   09:13 AM
by Karen

When a funeral ceremony and the place of burial are in different locations, the casket is transported to the cemetery. This is called a funeral procession. Even if you haven’t participated in one, you have probably seen it. Usually several cars follow each other and are escorted by special motorcyclists. Funeral processions should be respected with proper etiquette as it is a solemn time for those who are laying their loved ones to rest.

Here are a few tips that you should follow if you are taking part in a funeral procession:

Don’t be late and follow instructions

Make sure you are on time so that you don’t miss out on any important instructions for the procession. Usually the funeral director or whoever is in charge will give instructions such as who should go in which car, the positions in line of each of the vehicles, and what to do once you reach the burial site.

Turn on your headlights

Before the procession starts, you need to turn on your headlights. This is a way of letting people know that your car is part of the funeral procession. If you are the last one in the line, you might be given two flags and/or be asked to flash the hazard lights. This lets other drivers on the road know that the procession has passed, and they can carry on with their normal speed.

Maintain the speed

Make sure that you maintain the speed of the group. Usually the cars will go slowly, and each should stay in line and follow in the procession. Your vehicle should not be too far from the one in front of you as well. Most of all, pay attention to the vehicle in front of you. 

What to do when not in the Funeral Procession

Please be respectful of the person who has passed away and the family. When travelling in the opposite direction of the procession pull to the right of the roadway and stop. This also allows the motorcycle escorts to do their job efficiently and safely. Don’t begin travelling again until the last car in the procession has passed you. And when travelling in the same direction, do not pass the cars in the procession.


Thanks for reading,


The Differences Between A Wake, Viewing And Funeral
Sep 26, 2019   09:11 AM
by Karen


A wake is typically a Catholic tradition where close friends and family members stay up all night with the body of the departed, usually at home. The belief is that they can protect the deceased from evil spirits. A priest or deacon may be present to read scriptures or recite the rosary and food and beverages can be provided.

Another way to celebrate a wake is to conduct a service, usually with prayers and scripture at the funeral home. Following may be recitation of a rosary and then eulogies.

A wake is often held a day before the funeral.



A viewing is an opportunity for friends and family of the deceased to say goodbye and pay their respects. It is different from a wake or funeral because it is much more informal and unstructured. People can stay for hours, or they can just drop by. They can also share their thoughts and feelings with other mourners and offer support to each other. 

A viewing is usually held in the funeral home on the day of the funeral itself, or even the day before. The body of the deceased is often displayed so guests can say goodbye in a personal and intimate manner.



A funeral is a formal service that provides loved ones to say their final goodbyes. It is usually hosted at funeral homes, churches, or the home of the deceased. Burial is part of the ceremony and can be public or private. There is no set period during which a funeral should be held after death. While some people have it a day or two after the person has passed away, some choose to have it a week or two later. It can be done with the body or cremated remains present.


Thanks for reading,


Common Funeral Planning Mistakes to Avoid
Jun 04, 2019   04:50 PM
by Karen

Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences of life. On top of this, if you have to plan their funeral as well, your stress increases tenfold. Grieving, stress and worries do nothing to help you mourn as you should, affecting both your mental and physical health. As such, it is no wonder that so many people make common mistakes while planning a funeral.

To help you out during this difficult time, here are the most common funeral planning mistakes you should avoid.

  • Planning the funeral in a rush

It’s common to feel rushed while planning a funeral for a loved one. However, planning in panic will only lead you to making hasty, poorly-thought out decisions that you may regret later on when you are able to think clearer. Understand that planning a funeral is no cakewalk and that it takes time. Remember to consider all options before you make a decision.

  • Not setting a budget for yourself

Another common mistake is not setting a budget for the funeral planning. As it can be very difficult to think clearly while planning a funeral, it can be easy to spend more than you intend to if you don’t have a budget to follow. Before you start, know how much you are willing to spend in order to create the kind of experience you are looking for.

  • Not honoring the wishes of your loved one

Last but not the least, a mistake to avoid is not honoring the wishes of the deceased. Before they passed away, a loved one may have had a will created to express how they want their funeral to be, or they may have shared their wishes with you, a family member or a friend. Don’t forget to keep these in mind while planning the funeral.


Thanks for reading,


How to Plan a Non-Religious Funeral
Apr 26, 2019   12:03 PM
by Karen

Today, requests for non-religious funerals are increasing, but many do not know the first thing about planning funerals that do not fall in line with the usual religious ceremony that most of us are used to.

Also known as humanist funerals, non-religious funerals, as the name suggests, are funeral ceremonies which have no religious elements to it. They are simply a ceremony where loved ones say goodbye to a deceased love one while honoring and celebrating the life they lived.

If you have to plan a non-religious funeral, here are some tips to help you out:

  • Keep the ceremony as personal as possible

The key to planning a humanist funeral is to keep it as personal as possible, with the focus never shifting away from your loved one and the life that he/she lived. A funeral has no set rules and requirements, so remember that you are free to customize the ceremony however you see fit.

  • Find a humanist celebrant to conduct the funeral

Usually, a priest or a vicar leads a religious funeral service. But since they do not seem to be a great fit for a non-religious funeral ceremony, you can go with a celebrant who will be happy to accommodate your wishes. You can even have someone close to the deceased lead the funeral.

  • Have a non-religious funeral reading

Finding non-religious readings for a humanist funeral does not have to be difficult. You can always turn to poetry and other well-known writers for words of strength and comfort. For example, a few lines from a favorite book of the deceased or their favorite poem would make a great reading while also adding a personal touch.

  • You don’t have to sing hymns

Hymns are often sung at funerals, so if you want singing or music at a humanist funeral, then you can choose non-religious songs which celebrate the life that was lived. It can also be a favorite song of the one to whom the funeral has been dedicated.


Thanks for reading,


Benefits of Hiring a Funeral Director
Apr 12, 2019   10:25 AM
by Karen

Organizing and planning a funeral all on your own can be a challenging task. Considering that you had to deal with the trauma of having lost someone close to you, planning their funeral with a whirlwind of emotions can be difficult.

Fortunately, at such times, you can always seek help from a funeral director. Funeral directors are professionals who've been trained to efficiently plan funerals and take care of every aspect so that the family of the deceased have lesser things to worry about. Below, we see the benefits of hiring a funeral director:

  • Allows you time to mourn

With a funeral director to carry out everything on your behalf, you and your family do not have to spend time trying to figure out where to get a casket, where to get flowers, where the service will be held, etc. In other words, a funeral director takes care of every aspect, giving you the time and space that you need to mourn your loved one.

  • Can provide customized services

Funeral directors know information that you don’t and have contacts that you don't necessarily keep. This makes it easy for them to provide a  service exactly the way you want. This ability to deliver a high level of personalization is what makes funeral directors professionals after all.

  • Can handle all paperwork without issues

Funerals often come with a lot of paperwork and legal documentation. Having to take care of these matters without a clear head leaves a lot of room for mistakes. And since these are important paperwork, they would need your utmost attention across every small detail. Whether it is a death certificate, insurance claims or burial site contracts, a funeral director will take charge of all these and more.


Thanks for reading,


4 Interesting Facts About Funerals
Apr 02, 2019   04:58 PM
by Karen

Funerals are something that no one likes to talk about. Whether it is pre-planning your own funeral or someone else’s funeral, or just the topic of funerals in general, it is often considered a dark and uncomfortable subject. Since it is hardly talked about, the topic of funerals has become shrouded with misconceptions and mysteries.

There may be a lot of facts about funerals that surprise you. Here, we talk about some of these interesting facts:

  • Flowers were meant to bring goodwill in the afterlife

Today, flowers are brought to funerals as a symbol of sympathy, to show the family of the deceased that we are sorry for their loss and we are grieving with them. However, in the olden times, people brought flowers so as to promote goodwill in the afterlife, to the spirit of the deceased.

  • Loud music to keep evil spirits at bay

An Irish wake is often associated with loud music being played. This was originally because in the olden days, people believed playing loud music would keep evil spirits at bay. In addition to this, it was an opportunity to confirm whether the deceased was really dead. If not, they believed the loud music would wake them up.

  • Nine states require you to hire a funeral director

In all nine of the fifty states in the U.S. you are free to conduct funerals on your own without needing to hire the services of a funeral director. The nine states that require a funeral director include Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, and Nebraska.

However, even though you may live in a state that doesn’t require your to hire a funeral director, you cannot perform any services yourself that state law requires to be done by a licensed funeral director. Your state board of funeral directors can help with what must be done by a funeral director.  If you are having a simple memorial service, no funeral director should be required.

  • A wooden or steel casket isn’t your only option

Since most funerals usually have either a wooden or steel, many tend to think that burying the deceased in such caskets is the only option. However, you can choose less expensive caskets designed for cremation, or even the more expensive stainless steel or copper caskets if you want something that won’t rust over time. Whatever you choose, be sure to stay within a budget with which you are comfortable.


Thanks for reading,


Famous Poems You Can Recite at a Funeral
Mar 07, 2019   08:37 AM
by Karen


Words always find a way to comfort us, even during the most trying times. But sometimes, when we are so overwhelmed with emotions after losing a loved one, words from other people who may have gone through exactly what you are feeling may help you express yourself better.

Here are a few of the most famous poems that can help you express your emotions at the funeral of a loved one:

  • "That It Will Never Come Again" by Emily Dickinson

This poem by Emily Dickinson reminds us that life is precious because we only get to live it once. The lines:

“That it will never come again

Is what makes life so sweet”

are simple, direct and resonate with people, teaching all of us that a funeral is not just a time to mourn, but a time to celebrate a life lived.

  • "Afterglow" by Helen Lowrie Marshall

In her short poem named "Afterglow," Helen Lowrie Marshall aptly captures the essence of how we should remember our loved ones after they are no longer with us, making the poem ideal for someone who has brought you immense happiness during your time with them.

  • "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye

One of the most popular funeral poems, this one talks about how even after death, your loved ones are never really gone because they are always with you in spirit everywhere and the memories you have of them still matter.

  • "Farewell My Friends" by Rabindranath Tagore

Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore, in his poem "Farewell My Friends," talks about how beautiful it is to live your life well, for as long as it lasts until your time here on earth is over, and you have to say goodbye to your friends.

  • "Epitaph On a Friend" by Robert Burns

This short but sweet poem by Robert Burns pays tribute to someone who has a "virtuous heart," someone who is a "friend of man, truth, and age." It is ideal for someone who liked to live their lives most genuinely.


Thanks for reading,


What You Should Know About Pallbearers
Dec 04, 2018   05:19 PM
by Karen

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

When choosing a pallbearer, it is important to keep in mind that this is a very special and honorable responsibility which should be filled 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 physically capable of carrying out the task.

If any person is unfit mentally, emotionally or physically,  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,


Who Can Conduct Funeral Ceremonies?
Nov 03, 2018   05:25 PM
by Karen

Most people believe that funeral ceremonies can be officiated only by religious leaders such as priests or ministers. However, the truth is that there are no rules that say that only religious leaders can conduct a funeral service. In fact, unlike many ceremonies such as a wedding, the person officiating a funeral does not need to have power vested in them by a higher authority.

What this means is that basically anyone can conduct a funeral ceremony. What matters is that the service is in tune with the deceased's beliefs or what the family sees as most fitting. With that in mind, here are your options when it comes to conducting a funeral service:


Religious leaders

Religious leaders are the most common conductors of funeral services as most funerals are conducted following a set of religious orders. For instance, a prayer or reading may be a part of the step, which is usually carried out by a priest or a vicar. This is most suitable if your loved one was religious or spiritual. You can ask the religious leader to conduct the funeral in a place of worship, and he/she may ask questions regarding your loved one or if there are any specific requirements.


Very few are aware of celebrants. You probably know them and what they do, but don't know what they are called. Celebrants are simply people who conduct a funeral ceremony. They are not associated with any religion or belief system. They are professionals who know the right way to officiate funeral ceremonies as per the wishes of the deceased or the family, and this includes religious and non-religious ceremonies.

Family members and close friends

As mentioned before, anyone can conduct a funeral service since one does not need to have a certain power or authority to do so. This means that even friends and family members can conduct a funeral service if they wish to do so.


Thanks for reading,



Do’s And Don’ts When Attending A Funeral
May 25, 2018   03:08 PM
by Karen


Funerals are an important ceremony for people who have lost their loved ones. It is like a physical point of departure that allows them to say their final goodbyes. While there are no written rules that dictate how one attending a funeral should behave, there are some basic etiquette rules that everyone should keep in mind. 

Here are the basic do’s and don’ts when attending a funeral. Make sure you follow each and every one of them the next time you go to a memorial service. It shows respect and care for the grieving.

Don’t show up late

Make sure that you are never ever late to a funeral! If possible, it's always the best practice to show up around 10 to 15 minutes early. If there is something that is unavoidable and you are late by any chance, make sure to make a quiet entrance inside the venue. For example, you could enter your seat by taking the side aisle.

Don’t sit anywhere you want 

Usually the first few rows of seats are meant for families, relatives and close friends. So if you do not fall into these categories, make sure that you choose a seat that is somewhere in the middle or back.

Do restrain from being on your phone and social media 

Make sure that your phone is in silent mode, or switched off. It is extremely inappropriate and disrespectful to be on your phone during a funeral whether to reply to a text, or take pictures or videos and upload on social media like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Do wear modest clothes 

Remember that when you attend a funeral, your purpose is to offer your condolences and pay your respects. For this, you do not have to dress extravagantly. Always wear modest and conservative clothes with minimal accessories. You don’t necessarily have to wear all black, just dark colors unless the deceased has requested something different before passing. 


Thanks for reading,


Busting The Top Funeral Planning Myths
May 11, 2018   11:25 AM
by Karen


Planning a funeral is often seen as a daunting task by many. While it may not be the most exciting project, it is not as complicated and morbid as it seems. After all, when the time comes, we are all, one day, most likely going to have to plan the funeral of a loved one. Or maybe you want to plan your own funeral in advance. 

On that note, busted are the most common myths and misconceptions about funeral planning:

  • Funerals are extremely expensive

Usually, funerals are expensive. There’s no doubt about that. Then why have we included this among our list of myths? Because funerals don’t always have to cost a fortune. They are expensive only because we follow the societal expectation of what a funeral should be – extravagant floral decorations, an expensive hearse, fancy catering and more. You don’t have to follow this template. Instead, you can make it more personal and intimate on a budget. 

  • Funerals are always religious

Not all funerals have to be religious. Depending on what your loved one prefers, or even if they don’t share their final wishes, depending on what you believe they would appreciate, a funeral can be humanist. There is no requirement for conducting a funeral at a place of worship. A funeral should be meaningful, celebrating the life of a loved one in the most appropriate way possible.

  • Pre-planning funerals is too difficult

Often, many people believe that death is too grim a subject to focus on, especially when your time has not yet come. This is why many people don’t make their final wishes known to their family. But this only leads to more confusion and disagreement during a time that is already difficult for the family. It is always better to have a healthy discussion about your final wishes with those who are likely to plan your funeral.


Thanks for reading,




Top Trends In Funeral Services
Mar 20, 2018   10:47 AM
by Karen


Like all other industries, the funeral service industry also evolves with time. There have been some changes in the way we grieve for the loss of our loved ones, and the rituals we follow to honor their memory. If you are looking for innovative ways to say your final goodbyes, here are some of the top trends in funeral services.

  1. Personalization of services

Today, it is increasingly becoming popular to personalize funeral services so as to reflect the kind of person the deceased was. More and more people are now realizing that funeral services are valuable points of departure, and they want to make them as meaningful as possible; and they achieve this through personalization of funeral services. For example, having a theme based on deceased’s interests and passions is becoming increasingly popular.

  1. Eco-friendly funerals

Being environment-friendly is now a popular lifestyle today, and people even like to implement it in funeral practices. Some examples include opting out of embalming, or choosing to embalm with products free from formaldehyde, using recycled caskets, adopting a burial technique that would save space, not introducing balloons into the atmosphere, and more.

  1. Increase in cremations

Another trend is choosing cremation over burial. Although a larger number of people still choose burial, the number of people who opt for cremation is quickly increasing. There are many reasons that may drive this decision, most of which are to do with being more environmentally friendly, more cost-effective, or due to personal beliefs.

  1. Crowdfunding funerals

It’s no secret that funerals are expensive, yet necessary and therefore, is difficult for many people to pay for the expenses. However, many have found a way to solve this financial issue – crowdfunding. From financial donations from friends and relatives, to using a third-party platform to raise funds, crowdfunding funerals is a rising trend. Some even request others to make small contributions instead of bringing gifts and flowers.


Thanks for reading,


What's Involved in Funeral Planning?
Feb 09, 2018   03:50 PM
by Karen


Planning for the end of life can be a daunting task. Be it the departing of a loved one or your own personal plans, it’s 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 recent times typical funerals are instead being done as a ceremonious celebration of one’s 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. Then plan the ceremony step by step, taking into consideration everyone’s input and delegate work accordingly. You need to make an assessment of the personal preferences and choices of the departed.

Preferred modes of cremation and/or burial are to be selected as well. Apart from funeral urns and caskets, today we also have keepsake artifacts and jewelry that lets you keep a part of your loved one’s ashes. Elaborate grave marking and headstone services are available 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 might 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 it’s 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. 


Thanks for reading,


Funeral Planning Checklist
Jan 24, 2018   10:19 AM
by Karen


Death is never easy to handle for loved ones. While many times the unfortunate news is unexpected, sometimes with prolonged terminal illness, there is a forewarning. Despite all the forewarning, it can still be very difficult to take in the news of death of loved ones. While time and support of family and friends are the best ways to allow for natural healing to happen over time, there are some things that one can still do when there is enough time to prepare for a loved one’s death.

Preparing well in advance could also be necessary since in times of acute grief, there may not be enough strength to think clearly to carry out the required tasks with respect to the funeral.

Here is a checklist to help prepare as much as possible for the funeral:

  • Obtaining a death certificate will be necessary as a first step when death occurs outside the hospital. Paramedics, doctors or police are qualified to pronounce death. You can call 911 if there is no paramedic or police present.
  • A no obligation transporter can move the loved one to the required location. Save the phone numbers of such transporters.
  • Make a list of family members and friends who were dear to the loved one so you can inform them.
  • If your loved one had a pet, arrange for pet services or foster homes to care for the pet until you can make other arrangements. It would also be better to identify friends, family members or others who would be willing to adopt the pet after the death of the loved one.
  • If the loved one was employed, inform the employer.
  • If there was a will made and you are aware of the same, read it to know if there were any specific funeral arrangements and plans made by the loved one.
  • Research and select the appropriate mortuary or funeral home, and the funeral director.
  • Select the funeral casket, flowers and other requirements as per your loved one’s wishes.
  • Decide who will be the single point of contact to coordinate with the funeral director.

With a little pre-planning you can ensure that the end-of-life care and the funeral are carried out in a manner that reflects the love and respect you have for your loved one.


Thanks for reading,


Tips For Planning A Funeral On A Budget
Jan 17, 2018   04:10 PM
by Karen


Funerals are not the most pleasant experience for all of us. On top of that, they can be extremely expensive. The average cost of a funeral is around $8,000, and can be even more. However, you don’t necessarily have to spend a huge amount to say goodbye to your loved ones.

Funerals can be inexpensive, yet meaningful. Here’s how:

1. Location is important

Where you choose to have the funeral service can really affect your budget. Instead of a funeral home, if you hold the service in your own home, then a major portion of your expenses will be cut. You can also have it at a church, where the cost will be much cheaper than a funeral home. Clergy members may not charge you, but it’s respectful to offer at least some amount of money called a stipend. 

2. Don’t over-spend on caskets

Caskets are usually the most expensive parts of funerals. Especially if you are on a tight budget, you can always opt for cheaper ones. For example, a standard 18-gauge casket will be priced at around $1,000. Cloth-covered caskets will cost you about $500.

3. Don’t buy flowers

If you want to save money, don’t hire a florist, or get your flowers from the funeral home. You can just get them on your own from your own gardens. Even if you don’t have a garden, ask relatives and close friends who do. 

4. Skip embalming 

These days, many people choose to opt out of embalming. The formaldehyde used in it is toxic for the environment and not only that, it increases your bill by a significant amount. 

5. Make use of veterans’ benefit

If the deceased served in the military, the Department of Veterans Affairs will have funeral and burial benefits available. Learn more on their website.


Thanks for reading,


4 Top Funeral And Memorial Ideas For Veterans
Jan 10, 2018   10:14 AM
by Karen


Letting go of loved ones forever is never easy. However, funerals are also a celebration of the life that was lived. Especially for those who served in the military and made their country safe, there’s plenty to celebrate and honor.

At National Memorial Planning, we have funeral and memorial merchandise designed specifically for veterans. We have Marine Veteran caskets, Army Veteran caskets, Navy Veteran caskets, Air Force Veteran caskets and more. We also offer various designs of veteran monuments made from different materials.


There are a number of ways you can make use of such merchandises. Here are the top 4 ideas that will help you out.


  1. Honor the sacrifices they made

Veterans spend a huge part of their lives serving their country, making many sacrifices to keep their country and all the people in it safe from danger. Their devotion to their career should definitely be highlighted. Mention and display all their medals and awards, from the least significant to the most significant.


  1. Bury them in their uniform

Another respectable way of honoring all a veteran has done for the country is by burying them in their uniform. This is a personal choice though. Many prefer it as it represents how proud they were of their profession. However, you may have to plan ahead.


  1. Don’t forget the national flag

The  U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) will provide a flag free of cost when a veteran is deceased. All you have to do is fill in a form which is available at post offices. Funeral directors can also help you get a flag. Usually, the flag is draped on the casket during the funeral.


  1. Celebrate their home life too

As important as it is that you highlight their career, you should not forget their life at home, too, and the kind of person they were. It is quite a task to balance a military career and personal life. So, don’t forget to remember their dedication to family.


Thanks for reading,


5 Useful Tips of Funeral Planning
Jan 02, 2018   10:49 AM
by Karen


We will have to plan a funeral at least once in our lives, whether it’s for a loved one or we are pre-planning our own. However, funerals can be very expensive, especially if not done right. For this reason, it is extremely important that your funeral home is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart.

Here are 5 useful tips to help you plan any funeral efficiently:

 Know the basics of a funeral

Inform yourself about what happens at a funeral, and the options you can choose from. First is to prepare the corpse, and then comes the ceremony, followed by the interment. You will have to choose cremation or embalming, where the service will be held, whether there will be body viewing, ground or tomb burial, and so on.

Always ask for a general price list, if you are not given one

When you inquire at a funeral home, you must always be given a price list. If not, ask for one. You can even take this home if you need more time to think. Even if you’re on a call, the funeral home should inform you about the price list one way or the other. Emailing it to you is effective. This will help you make informed decisions.

You don’t always have to choose a package

Many funeral homes offer packages but they may include too much or too little, depending on your needs. Know that you are not required to buy the whole package. You can unbundle and buy individually.

Learn what you have to know about caskets

Caskets are often the most expensive part of a funeral. They can even go up to thousands of dollars. When you approach a funeral home, you should be shown the price list of caskets first. Only expensive caskets may be displayed, so don’t hesitate to ask to see the cheaper ones. Check with independent providers as well.

You can always opt for more affordable options

If you cannot afford to spend a lot, you can always opt for less expensive options like a direct cremation or a direct burial. These can cut out a lot of expenditures and are more budget-friendly.


Thanks for reading,


These Are The Various Funeral Merchandise Available To You
Dec 29, 2017   04:20 PM
by Karen


Whether you are pre-planning your own funeral, or planning the funeral of a family member or friend, one thing you will be needing is funeral merchandise. Depending on your choice of ceremony, we at National Memorial Planning, offer various kinds of funeral merchandise you can choose from. They are listed below:

  • Caskets

Caskets are one of the most common funeral merchandise used. They are available in a wide variety of materials and styles. At National Planning Memorial, we offer steel caskets, semi-precious metal caskets, wood caskets and caskets especially made for veterans. Steel caskets, as well as different kinds of wooden caskets, are some of the most common. ·

  • Cremation Urns

For people who choose to be cremated, cremations urns are a necessary merchandise. We offer various kinds of urns which can fall under two main categories – Brass Cremation Urns and Natural Quarried Marble Cremation Urns. 

Depending on your style and budget, we have plenty of designs under the two categories. For example, under brass urns, we have different models like Bronze, Platinum engraved and Copper Oak. Under marble urns, we have Evermore, Legacy and Dogwood models. 

All our cremation urns are carefully crafted with a smooth finish to be the perfect container to hold your loved ones’ ashes.

  • Monuments and Memorials

Monuments and memorials permanently commemorate the life your deceased loved one has lived. They also serve as a place where friends and family can come to pay their respects from time to time. 

At National Memorial Planning, we have a vast assortment of permanent monuments and memorials made from granite in different colors (both single and companion), and bronze (both single and companion). We can also do custom scenes, laser etchings, benches, vases as well as memorial portraits. 

With the variety of products and services we offer, you can be sure that National Planning Memorial will lift a burden by taking care of all your funeral merchandise needs with professionalism. 


Thanks for reading,