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Creating a Meaningful Service With Cremation

The reasons for preferring cremation are varied. To some people it seems a more natural and environmentally sensitive process than burial. Still others are not sure why they feel more comfortable with cremation but are interested in learning more.

Another reason for preferring cremations is the many options available for services and final disposition. In fact, cremation offers more options than traditional burial. For example, burial typically occurs with a week to ten days following death; in contrast, a gathering or memorial service can be scheduled at any time. In fact many families will schedule multiple memorial services, one in the deceased's retirement community and another in the community where they worked and raised their family. There are also many ways to memorialize; cremated remains may be placed in a columbarium niche, scattered at a location significant to the individual or retained in the home in an artistic and meaningful urn.

The timing of cremation is an individual choice, but there are three common options.

IMMEDIATE CREMATION:

Those preferring to have no service or gathering can arrange for immediate cremation. You will want to review cost, administrative requirements and other details with your funeral director. It should be noted that many families who choose direct cremation later regret the decision because it ignores their need for closure. Participating in arrangements, viewing the body, and meeting in a formal or informal setting with supportive friends and family are meaningful parts of a ritual. Just like baptism and weddings, ceremony helps us understand and cope with loss.

CREMATION FOLLOWED BY MEMORIAL SERVICE:

Following either private or public viewing, the body is cremated. A service or gathering is held at a place of the family's choosing to commemorate the life of the deceased. Eulogies, readings, music, and the sharing of photos, videos, and personal collections and hobbies are often part of the gathering. The gathering is an opportunity for those who cared about the deceased to remember them in a special way, and to say good-bye.

FUNERAL SERVICE FOLLOWED BY CREMATION:

Probably the greatest misconception about cremation is that there can be no funeral. Many people choosing cremation have a traditional funeral service, followed by cremation. The funeral service may be conducted in a funeral home, church, or any other appropriate setting. Clergy may conduct the service, but this is not required. Some will prefer a less formal format of sharing memories and feelings. The funeral service is personalized by including things to help those attending to better know and remember the deceased, such as flowers, videos, and music.

There are many good reasons why families are beginning to strongly consider cremation. Let an informed funeral professional with experience and special interest in cremation make suggestions as to your options and choices.

Foundation Partners is a national funeral consolidation company focused on building strong relationships with our Partners and Team Members caring for the communities we serve across the nation. For more information visit www.foundationpartners.com.

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