Monday, April 28, 2014

Best Way to Plan for a Funeral Service

The main purpose of a funeral service is to provide meaning to the life of the deceased. This is also the time that friends and family members will gather together to remember the person and offer support and comfort to each other.

The funeral service is also a religious service officiated by a pastor, clergy, priest or a leader of a religious congregation. In a Christian funeral service, some verses in the Bible might be read out. There is also a funeral service that is non religious and such program often includes poem readings and other activities that commemorate the life of the deceased. Sometimes, the program would have a few minutes of silence intended for the guests to hear the funeral obituary.

More than a few musical alternatives might be performed all throughout the entire funeral service. Oftentimes, a chapel choir will be tasked to render the funeral songs. At the end of the program, personal acknowledgements are read out. For religious funeral services, the clergy will offer a short homily which often offers comfort and some messages to the surviving family.

Planning a funeral service can be an emotional process especially if the deceased is someone close to you or a family member. There are also financial matters that one must consider. But the great thing is that you can now find a funeral service program template online that can somehow help to make the preparation and planning seem easier. Refer below for the best way to plan a funeral service.

Plan Ahead

When it comes to organizing events such as a funeral service, it is important that you plan it ahead. In fact, there are some people who plan their own funeral service way ahead, especially if they are suffering from a life threatening disease and they know that their time is limited.

planning for a funeral serviceWhether you are planning a funeral service for yourself or for someone, planning ahead is necessary. In cases wherein a person died due to accidents and other unforeseen situations, the funeral service should be planned from the day the person died.

Planning a funeral service for a loved one might seem difficult for some family members since they are still grieving for the death, so in this case, the best option is to hire a company that provides funeral planning services. But for those who want to do the planning themselves yet they have no knowledge on how to go about the whole thing, they can refer to websites that provide a sample funeral order of service.

The sample can serve as your guide on the things that you need to prepare so you can assign other people to do some of the tasks. Also, for those who need to prepare a religious funeral service, they should check with their local church and ask how to go about organizing it. There is also a need to hire a choir so it is best to do that ahead of time.

Cover the Cost

Planning a funeral service can be costly. Therefore, aside from planning the program ahead of time, the financial matters should be taken care of as well. There are some individuals who will pay for their funeral in advance so their surviving family will not be burdened. Others will also set up a POD account in the bank, or the Payable on Death account. When you open this type of account, you should make sure to provide the name the beneficiary or the person whom you will task to handle the funeral arrangements. At the time of your death, the funds will be given directly to the beneficiary.

But for those who have not done this and those who died as a result of an accident, their family members would have to take care of the financial obligations involved, such as service fees for the choir, for the minister, for the venue, flowers, and several other things. You also need to pay for the printing of mass cards or mass booklets that will need to be distributed to all the guests who will attend the funeral.

You can also choose to create mass booklets yourself in order to save money. You will find a funeral mass booklet template online which you can print on a special kind of paper. The booklet should have all the details of the funeral service, the sequence of the program, as well as a tribute to the deceased. Some of the booklets will also quote a verse from the bible, from a song or from a poem, something that has a significant meaning to the deceased. Funeral Pamphlets provides funeral templates and even a customization service with same-day delivery.

Make Your Wishes Known

If you are planning your own funeral service, then you need to speak to one of the members of your family or a person close to you and let them know how you want your funeral to be like. Tell them what your funeral wishes are so they can make them come true for you.

Sharing your wishes will give your loved ones an idea on how to go about planning your funeral. This way, they will not have a hard time when the time comes that they need to plan for it. You can go online and gather ideas of funeral program designs and if there is a picture, show that to the person to whom you shared your funeral wishes.

You can keep a record of your funeral arrangement and keep it or give it to the person whom you have entrusted the preparation and planning of your funeral.

Contact Funeral Directors

Funeral directors are those people whose job is to organize or plan funeral services. If you are planning for your own funeral, then inform them about what your plans are for your funeral service. Ask them if they can make that possible for you.

For those who are planning a funeral service for a friend or a loved one, they might find the funeral directors helpful especially if the death was sudden and they cannot focus on the preparation due to the sorrow they feel as a result of their loved one's untimely death. You can search for funeral directors in your area and ask for a price quotation.

Of course, you need to also tell them how you want the funeral service to be like. The service would sometimes vary depending on the religion of the deceased. Like if the person is Anglican or Methodist, inform the funeral director that you plan to have an Anglican/Methodist order of service.
The directors will also be in charge of obtaining the death certificate as well as preparing and submitting obituary to the local newspaper publication. Discuss any cultural or religious preferences that you want to be observed for the funeral service. If you are organizing a Christian funeral service, the director will help you in contacting a clergy who will officiate the service.

Decide if You Want Flowers or Donations

During the funeral service, it has been a tradition to bring donations or flowers for the deceased. Others will also give monetary donations. But if the deceased has requested to receive only flowers, then you should inform the guests about this. This especially applies to those who are financially blessed and have paid up for their funeral ahead.

There are also those who would prefer monetary donations to be given to the charity they are supporting. Whatever the request is, this should be included on the memorial invitation wording so that the funeral guests will be fully aware.

If the memorial invitation cards will be printed by a printing company, then you need to inform them ahead of the details that you want to be included on the invitation. It is also important to include the instructions on where the donations should be sent. If it needs to be deposited to a bank account, then the invitation should state the bank details.

For others who want to receive flowers on their funeral, the funeral director or whoever is tasked to organize the funeral service should prepare a huge space for the flowers that the guests will bring. There should be someone who will be tasked to arrange the flowers on the venue so it will not appear too cluttered.

Choose Your Disposition

Another thing that one must also take into consideration when planning a funeral service is on where the deceased’s remains will be buried. In fact, the place where the deceased is to be laid to rest will need to be stated on the memorial service invitation cards as well. There are some people who may have already obtained a funeral plan in advance so there won’t be any problem if this is the case. But for others who have not obtained any funeral plan, then this thing must be given utmost importance.

The religion, cultural beliefs and traditions might also play an important role when deciding how the deceased will be buried. Oftentimes, it would be the family and relatives who will have the final say when it comes to this aspect. Among the plans to choose from are:

  • Burial – a burial is the most common method of all, especially if it is a Christian funeral service. On this method, a cemetery plot should be purchased ahead. Also, the casket, the grave liner or vault, as well as the grave marker or the monument should be bought ahead of time.
  • Entombment – if the family or relatives have decided to have the body of the deceased be entombed above ground, then a cemetery plot must be purchased as well. Sometimes, the entombment will be within the deceased’s property or near the area where the family lives. This method also requires buying a casket and sometimes, a mausoleum is built.
  • Cremation – cremation is practiced by other religions although anyone is free to choose to have their body cremated. This is a process that will reduce the remains to ashes and the ashes will either be stored in an urn or be scattered in the sea, in a garden, etc.
If the deceased has requested when he or she was still alive that the ashes will be scattered, then check with a funeral director for any legal restrictions since there are some areas that will not allow this.
Personalize It
Remember that a funeral service is all about remembering the deceased and therefore, the funeral mass program and other aspects of the funeral service should be personalized. The best way to come up with a theme for a funeral service is to think of the deceased while he or she was still alive.

Is there a color that he or she loved the most? What are the things that he or she loved doing the most? What about the hobbies, favorite sports, etc.? Like if the deceased loved the color blue, try to decorate the funeral service venue with the shades of blue. Or perhaps, you can state on the memorial service invitations to have the guests wear blue during the funeral.

If the family is more traditional, then guests should wear either black or white during the funeral service. The idea is to tailor the funeral service to the deceased as a way of remembering and commemorating his or her life.

Hopefully, these tips in planning for a funeral service can serve as your guide. Remember that the service can either be held near the time of the burial or cremation, or perhaps at a later date. A viewing service might also be scheduled so make sure to indicate the schedule on the memorial invitation cards that you will distribute to the guests.

It will also help if you ask other people to help you in organizing the funeral service as well. It should not be a one man show since there are lots of things involved. If the entire family is grieving and cannot focus on organizing the service, hire a funeral director that can somehow help to organize things.

Related Reads:

Online Service That Offers Customized Memorial Program 

How to Make a Memorial Program using Microsoft Word

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