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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 burial ceremonies.
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.
Funeral Service 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.
Witness Cremation 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.
Committal Service 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.
Memorial Service 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 date.
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.