How to Make a Funeral Special
A funeral is a time when loved ones gather to say goodbye and remember the life of a person that made an impact on their lives. There are many ways to do this today. When that time comes, we often are so overwhelmed with grief and decisions that we can’t think clearly about how to cherish them as we say farewell. The more unique you make it, the more personal and special the experience is. When you take the time to honor someone with sweet details and memories at their funeral, you send a message to them and everyone that they love that this was an important person in this world.
It is possible to get help to plan a funeral for someone by a professional who can make these arrangements for you. However, that person does not know the one that you love, and won’t know to include important details. Leave the organization up to them, while you use your time to find the details that will truly celebrate the life of your loved one. If you are planning a service for someone you love, use this guide to get some ideas on how to make a funeral special.
Different Ways to Hold a Funeral
From a direct burial or cremation to a celebration of life, there are a number of different ways to have a funeral. Make this decision first and then make all of your other decisions around this. Some of these decisions will be based on the preferences and choices of your loved one. Other decisions will be made so that you can tell the world how special they are through the details.
Cremations or a burial service are the most common types of funerals. A funeral home and their office can make the outline of these arrangements, and plan details, dates, and times for you. It will not take you long to learn how to make a funeral special for someone that you love. Once the process st arts, the details will begin to fall into place. First, decide what kind of funeral arrangements you will be making for them.
The different kinds of funeral include traditional funerals, cremations, direct burial, graveside service, memorial, and celebration of life. When planning these events you may also organize a visitation or a wake, where loved ones visit you or come to see your loved one prior to the funeral or service.
A traditional funeral is a funeral where the entire process is managed by the funeral home, and you interject the details of their life. It begins with a wake or viewing at the funeral home. This can last for a few days. The service will follow that, after which a hearse will take the loved one to the cemetery to rest.
Because there are many additional details in this kind of funeral, this is the most expensive kind of funeral. A visitation ahead of time is one way to show that you can know how to make a funeral special. During the service and the wake, you can include details, mementos, songs, poems, readings, or even a ball game memory to make the day special for your loved one. Having a service for someone that is serious doesn’t mean you can’t make them feel special.
To know how to make a funeral special, all you need is to find ways to bring elements of their life into the event. The more personal your touches, the more they will be honored by the loved ones in attendance. Bring their hobbies, their lives, their relationships, and all that makes them unique as a human into the day and the planning. You can do this at every stage of the event, right up to the cemetery.
A graveside service is a service that takes place only at the cemetery. In this case, your loved one does not need to be embalmed. That expense usually occurs when there is a wake or visitation. If your loved one will not get a visitation, that step can be avoided.
In this event, the loved one is still transported to the cemetery by the funeral, and service is still arranged. You can still bring your loved one’s personality into the day through flowers, sayings at the service, songs, or even just tokens of their life that get buried with them as others say goodbye. These services are typically shorter and with fewer people, and will be less expensive than a service where there are visitation days and an event at the funeral home before a burial.
During this service, loved ones can offer their own unique ways of paying last respects before burial. Sometimes this is also called a committal service, where the loved ones commit the individual back to the Earth or to their holy power. For others, it can be a day of song and praise as they truly celebrate life. If you want to know how to make a graveside service special, follow your heart and the needs of the people that you know will be special.
There is often a brief service from a member of the funeral home or the clergy that will offer comfort and prayer. This usually isn’t more than a few minutes, but it also can be as long as you want it to be.
Anyone can have a graveside service, and it isn’t any less special than a larger set of arrangements. President Calvin Coolidge had a graveside service where the poem Warm Summer Sun was read and followed by a benediction, and then a moment of silence. Taps was played next to honor his service.
A memorial service is almost exactly like a funeral service, but there is no graveside time or cemetery visit. The loved one is not present unless a cremation has taken place and it is the family’s wishes. A memorial service is not any less serious than a funeral service. It will include a celebration of the loved one, and you can do anything that you want here. If they loved basketball, bring that into the service. It doesn’t have to be solemn if you don’t want it to be.
Other times you might have a memorial where you want to include everybody except for in the most intimate moments. You might have a funeral and a memorial, for example, if you want a service for only loved ones, and service for the world that loved yours. A memorial service is among the most common types of services today. To know how to make a funeral special here, include as much as you can that symbolizes the deceased.
You also want to be sure that you can memorialize those that attend. A guest book is one way to do that, but you can go above and beyond with that as well. Using decorations, flowers, or unique symbols of the individual is a wonderful way to honor the deceased, and the loved ones showing up to memorialize them.
Immediate Disposition or Direct Burial
For this kind of funeral, it is a little more difficult to figure out how to make a funeral special. In this kind, the loved one passes and is almost immediately buried or cremated. These are often chosen because of expense, or through a traumatic passing. This is the least expensive kind of funeral, and it also ensures the arrangements are easy and as painless as possible.
Here, there is a casket that is buried immediately or an urn for the family members. You can make this type of funeral special by adding a service at a later date. This can be a memorial or a celebration of life. Neither of those two events needs to be expensive. You can have a family barbecue months later and laugh about them over their favorite potato salad and for them, it might be as special as a grand service that costs tens of thousands.
A special funeral does not need to be expensive, it just needs to be special and let the world know what that person meant to you, and the world.
Celebration of Life
A celebration of life is not much different from a memorial service. In most cases, a memorial service takes place right after the passing, but it can be held off if the family wishes. A celebration of life can take place immediately as well, but it is also usually held off for weeks and sometimes even months for whatever purposes the family wishes.
The date you choose is one way to show your loved one you know how to make a funeral special for them. You may pick a date in the summer for example, when you know the entire family will be around to attend.
These services are exactly what they sound like, celebrations. Ways that you can make this special include music, dance, food, photo galleries, slideshows, home movies, or whatever you think would make that person happy. If they loved rock concerts, for example, you might want to have a collage of every ticket stub they kept. Keep the music flowing of all of their favorite songs, or life songs, and celebrate them.
Scattering ceremonies are another way to show how to make a funeral special. These are often solemn events where the ashes of the loved one that has been cremated are taken somewhere that they loved. Here you can do whatever you like, and they don’t have to be solemn events. They often are because it means the family or loved ones have to say goodbye again.
You can lighten this for yourself and your loved one by implementing something fun or funny if you can that they would appreciate. Bring a sense of nostalgia to the scene so that you can feel special for them when you say goodbye again. These ceremonies are not usually well attended, and are only services for the loved ones.
Details to Bring Into Funeral or Memorial Services
When you are trying to learn how to make a funeral special, think of the event as a special event, and not as something sad. The little things you bring into the day will make all the difference. Ball game songs, bird watching photos, or even T-shirts with some screen printing that serve as their own mementos for loved ones can be brought into the day. Use personal details.
Food is another element of any funeral that helps loved ones to say goodbye. A reception after service can be held at a funeral home, a restaurant, or the home of someone they loved. Many funeral services offer catering. You can also have a reception at home with simple items that are brought in through potluck, or have it catered yourself. A local bakery will be able to do something special for you if your loved one has a sweet tooth.
Bring keepsakes into the day, no matter what size of service that you have. Their diamond ring or favorite jewelry on display will tell loved ones they lived a life of love. If they enjoyed art, hang their favorite pieces at the service. Use music wherever you can to bring sentiment in at just the right moments. There are no wrong choices here. Take what they liked and loved in life, and show it to your loved ones.
An honor of service funeral is one that happens for those in the military or for first responders. Public office holders that pass may get special honors at their service as well. You can divide services for the public and for the family and have multiple celebrations here. For each one, use their record of service and any tokens of their service on display or through the story as one way of showing how to make a funeral special for those that serve their country. Horses and small processions are very effective in honoring your loved one this way.
Flowers as always are a special part of funerals if you are taking that expense. Bring in their favorites. If they didn’t have any, use flowers creatively. Spell their name with sweet roses, or sprinkle tiny sprays throughout the reception halls. If they really enjoyed flowers, and you have the funds for it, a rose for each guest with a saying from the loved one attached has a powerful impact that is special and will always be remembered.
Say Goodbyes From Your Heart
When you are trying to understand how to make a funeral special for someone that you love, follow your heart. Use the elements that they would love, and when it feels good, implement that into the service. It doesn’t matter what kind of service they have. It only matters that you show you loved them, and they are worthy of a unique and individualized goodbye.