How to Plan a Funeral Burial Service
Burial services are an age-old way to honor our dearly departed loved ones, giving mourners and surviving family an opportunity to pay their final respects before the deceased is interred to their final resting place. There are a lot of factors that go into planning such a service but, with the help of a funeral director and a little bit of preparedness, it need not be an additional source of stress or frustration during difficult times.
Selection of Burial Property
Many people have the foresight to choose and purchase burial plots or mausoleum crypts prior to their death. Additionally, some families have large sections of local cemeteries intended for the future burial of family members. In these cases, much of the preliminary work of planning a burial ceremony is already done—you need only obtain the necessary documents to prove ownership of burial rights.
However, if no such plan is in place at the time of your loved one’s passing, it falls to the surviving family members to select and purchase burial property. Unlike buying a home or property, in which case you own the structure and the land it sits on, purchasing burial property only entails buying the right to inter an individual in a particular location; the actual property itself remains the property and maintenance responsibility of the cemetery, and a stated portion of the cost of interment will go toward upkeep and ongoing care of the grounds.
In addition to the cost of the burial property, you’ll need to prepare for additional fees such the specialized labor and equipment associated with “opening” and “closing” the site, as well as the headstone or grave marker and its installation.
Choosing a Casket and Vault
Caskets are often cited as the single most expensive aspect of interment and, while this can certainly be true, there are a wide variety of casket options available for a wide variety of price ranges. Much of it falls to personal preference, either of the deceased as outlined in their last wishes or of the surviving family if no such wishes were outlined prior to their loved one’s passing.
The funeral director will work closely with you to help determine what the best options are for your price range and specifications, and to keep the overall costs of the graveside service manageable and within your budget.
Planning the Service
There is no set requirement for how a graveside service should go; it’s really up to the wishes of the deceased, the bereaved, and any family or mourners who wish to take part in the planning. You may wish for a traditional service led by a clergy member, a more uplifting or loose service led by a celebrant, or a family-led affair where those closest to the recently passed direct the ceremony and dictate its contents.
Your funeral director can help as much or as little as necessary but, above and beyond other aspects of the process, the ceremony itself should be reflective of the personality, desires, aspirations, and accomplishments of the person whose life is being remembered. If you have any questions or concerns about planning a burial service, please don’t hesitate to call us at 713.682.3663.