Burial Services & Options
Traditional Chapel or Church Service
The term ‘Traditional Service’ usually refers to a service held either at the mortuary chapel, or at the church of the family’s choice. Religious beliefs, ethnic heritage, and personal preference will all play a role in determining what location for the service would be the most appropriate. Some religions prefer that services only be held in their churches, while others prefer that the mortuary’s facilities be used.
Some religions customarily hold an evening service at the mortuary chapel, in addition to the primary service the next day. The Roman Catholic faith is a good example, where viewing and an evening Rosary service are held at the mortuary, and the Catholic Funeral Mass is held the following day in the church.
The casket may be open or closed during the ceremony, depending again on religious custom and personal preference.
Following the service at the church or mortuary chapel, the family and friends usually drive to the cemetery for a brief committal or graveside service. This is often a very brief ceremony, normally involving a final prayer or blessing of the grave.
An alternative to the traditional church or chapel funeral is the graveside service. At a graveside service, the entire ceremony takes place at the grave site.
Since the service is held outdoors and most people will be standing during the ceremony, graveside services have a tendency to be briefer and simpler than a church or chapel funeral.
The cemetery will often provide an overhead canopy for protection against the elements, and chairs are usually provided for the immediate family.
Many families choose to have a time of viewing or visitation at the mortuary, usually on the day prior to the church, chapel or graveside service. The purpose of a visitation is to allow family and friends the opportunity to view the person who has passed away, to visit with the family, and to provide an opportunity to say good bye in a more relaxed setting. Visitations are often held in a visitation room, with comfortable seating and home-like furnishings.Visitations are often scheduled for a period of several hours during the afternoon and / or evening, at the time when most people are able to attend. Family members and friends are free to come and go during these hours, and should not feel obligated to stay for the duration of the viewing unless they choose to.
Visitations can be completely private (for the family only), public (for anyone who wants to attend), or there may be a private time for the family first, and then public viewing following.
A visitation does not have to include an open casket viewing. Even if the casket is kept closed, families may still want the opportunity to receive guests and to visit with friends at the mortuary.
There is no requirement that some type of service be held prior to burial. If preferred, a direct burial can be arranged, which does not include any viewing or services. Once the legal documents have been filed, the casket will be delivered privately to the cemetery, where the casket will be promptly lowered and the burial process commenced.
Our mortuary is pleased to offer a variety of burial service options to meet every family’s needs. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding our burial services.