Many families today are choosing cremation. If cremation is your
preference, you may be surprised to learn that the opportunities
for creating a unique tribute are just as numerous as they are with
Viewing or Visitation
A public viewing or visitation provides an opportunity for the
family of the deceased and his or her friends, relatives and
colleagues to come together. A visitation is often held at the
funeral home, but can take place in a church or other location.
Friends and colleagues can pay their final respects to the deceased
and offer condolences to the family. A viewing or visitation can
also be private and limited to the deceased's immediate family.
A funeral service is a formal gathering at the funeral home or
another location. One or several individuals that knew the deceased
may speak at the funeral, whereas other families choose to have a
favorite clergyperson or non-religious celebrant speak. Speeches
may offer prayers or words of wisdom, as well as remarks on the
deceased's life and character.
Many crematories provide a viewing room, where close family
members can view the deceased's body as it enters the crematory.
Visitation rooms of this nature can also provide a place for a
private ceremony for the deceased's immediate family.
After cremation has taken place, families may choose to bury the
urn or place it in another permanent resting place such as a
mausoleum, columbarium, or church niche. A committal service can
accompany the placement of cremated remains in a final resting
place, and like a funeral service can include remarks offered by a
clergyperson or other individual.
A memorial service is similar to a funeral service, except the
body is not present. Many families choose to have the cremated
remains in a decorative urn present. A memorial service can take
place shortly after cremation occurs, or can take place at a later
Regardless of the services you choose, you have many options for
personalizing the service and ensuring that it truly reflects the
unique life of your loved one.