Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy, and the process of planning a funeral can be very emotional and difficult. Having an understanding of the different types of funeral ceremonies will help you make informed decisions, and the following guide will highlight some of the most popular options:

Traditional funeral

A religious ceremony at your place of worship, a catholic mass with an accompanying graveside service or a group of people gathered in a funeral home without religious undertones are all considered a traditional funeral. A solemn atmosphere, music, a gathering of mourners and religious or secular readings are common characteristics of traditional funerals, which can act as standalone services or be accompanied by visitations and/or graveside services. Traditional funerals can take place indoors or outdoors, and you can have this kind of funeral for a person who is buried in a cemetery or for someone who is cremated.

Memorial service

In most cases, this type of service will occur without a body or cremains present, and this can also occur well after a person’s death. The deceased’s family can choose not to have the body present, or the body may be absent because of issues with weather or travel. A memorial service can occur at a place of worship, a community centre or a funeral home and can be religious or secular. This type of service can be held in addition to a more intimate service for the family as it will give others a chance to express their grief.

Celebration of life

This type of service can be formal or informal, religious or secular. It can be held immediately following death or even months after, and this ceremony is more celebratory than a traditional funeral. It can include the sharing of happy memories and stories. It’s a chance for loved ones to celebrate the life of the person they’ve lost. This ceremony can be held as a standalone service or a big extravaganza following a more serious ceremony. This kind of service is growing in popularity because it’s an effective way to keep the deceased’s memory alive. 

Scattering ceremony 

Cremations are also becoming increasingly popular, so many people choose scattering ceremonies that occur whenever the deceased’s cremains are released into nature. This type of ceremony can take place near bodies of water, on private land or in public parks, although permission may be required, so you have to confirm this aspect. This service can be religious or secular, and because they are held outdoors, they tend to be short in length and are generally informal. It’s also important to note that scattering can occur weeks, months or even years after the death of an individual.

If you require help planning a funeral, Fort McMurray Funeral Homes can help. We understand how challenging and tough this process can be and are always here to assist our community. If you have questions regarding a specific type of ceremony or are simply looking for more information, contact us at any time to see how we can help.