Funeral is a ceremony to mark the death of a person. A funeral encompasses the set of beliefs and practices of a specific culture. The ceremony is aimed at paying homage to the deceased and praying for the dead person’s soul. The word “funeral” is derived from the Latin word “funus” which means “corpse”. Sometimes, it is also used to refer to the funeral rites. To be able to perform the funeral rites properly you need help from a funeral service provider.

Choosing a burial option and funeral provider

There are certain things to be kept in mind while choosing the burial option and funeral service provider. Here are some pointers:

1. Selection of a funeral home − While selecting funeral homes, people usually consider distance to be the most important factor. Funeral homes may also be selected on the basis of reference from a trusted person. Availability of services can be another major reason to go with a particular funeral home.

2. The tussle between national and locally owned funeral homes – Funeral homes can be either national or locally owned. While funeral homes owned by the national corporation offer a wider range of services, a locally owned funeral home may prove to be a better option in terms of accessibility and financial considerations.

3. Comparing the facilities provided by the funeral homes – Comparing the services provided by different funeral homes will help you choose the best available option. According to the Funeral Rule, the funeral provider is supposed to provide detailed information regarding the price list, products, and services offered by the particular funeral home. Sometimes special packages are offered by certain funeral homes. It might prove to be beneficial to have information about these facilities.

The usual services provided by funeral homes

Funeral homes provide certain traditional services and products. These include:

• Embalming
• Preparing the body
• Vault
• Casket and coffin options
• Memorial service
• Graveside service
• Hearse

The customs and rituals followed in funerals

There are certain customs and traditions that have been followed through the ages in funeral ceremonies. However, these customs are not universal and depend on the religion and culture of the deceased.

• In Christian tradition, the body of the deceased is normally retained at the funeral parlour for the last visit. In the West, after a burial ceremony, family members gather together at a relative’s house or an off-site location for refreshments.

• In Jewish tradition, the body is buried as soon as possible and a seven-day period of mourning is observed by the deceased’s family members.

• According to Islamic tradition, friends and family of the deceased accompany the procession to the grave. Post burial, a 10-day mourning period is observed.

• In Buddhist tradition, the body is buried in a week’s time and the family members and friends make a charitable donation.

• According to Hindu customs, the body is cremated within 24 hrs and a mourning period is observed.

Funerals are essentially somber occasions and call for all family members and friends of the deceased person to come together for one last time. Even though it is a particularly distressful period, one must make the effort to honor the memories of the deceased.