Traditional Viewing or Visitation
A viewing or visitation typically at the funeral home, is a gathering with or without the casket present. Generally this event is less formal than a funeral service and is time for the family and friends to come together, express their grief and draw support from one another. There may or may not be viewing of the deceased, depending upon the circumstances or personal wishes. Viewing is encouraged by grief experts as it presents an opportunity to confront the reality of death and begin the healing process.
Funeral or Memorial Service
While many persons may use these terms interchangeably, the term “funeral service” is usually used to indicate a gathering with the casket of the deceased present, conducted prior to burial or cremation. The casket will be open or closed depending on the venue for the services and/or the family’s wishes.
The term “memorial service” is typically used to describe a service where the casket is not present. As this service is “in memory” of the person, there may be a focal point such as an urn, a picture or a floral arrangement in place of the casket. A memorial service can take place at any time prior to or after the burial, cremation or other form of disposition.
There are considerations to be made when determining the type of funeral service that would be most appropriate to honor your loved one. For many people, their religious preference may be the most important factor. If this is the case, your priest, rabbi or minister will be a good source of information for how the ritual should be followed.
Some persons may desire a religious service but do not currently belong to a church. Your funeral director can assist you by helping you locate a clergy or lay person of your preferred denomination to officiate at the service.
Just because a person did not belong to an organized religion does not mean they should not have a funeral. The most important component of the funeral is to honor the life lived and for friends and family to have their opportunity to mourn and draw strength from one another.
A non-religious funeral service can be a very formal or informal event and can be held in a funeral home or other venue the family finds appropriate. A friend or close acquaintance who is familiar with the deceased and is comfortable functioning as the master of ceremonies can be chosen to lead the service.
In addition, many persons have received training as a funeral celebrant, including some members of funeral home staffs. Your funeral director may be familiar with someone in your community.
Wake and Funeral Service at the Warwick Center- Mulder Chapel
The Committal or Graveside Service
This type of funeral service is held at the final resting place. It typically follows the funeral service held at the church or funeral chapel. In some instances, a family may elect to have the entire funeral service at the place of committal.
Graveside Service - Sullivan County Veteran's Memorial Cemetery
Green or "Natural" burials are the interment of the body of a dead person in the soil in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition but allows the body to be naturally recycled. It is an alternative to other contemporary Western burial methods and funerary customs.
Green Burial - Rhinebeck's Natural Burial Ground
Services Before or After Cremation
Like burial, cremation is only one element of the funeral process and should be approached that way. When made part of a meaningful funeral service, cremation can play a vital role in the healing journey. Some may feel that by cremating a body, they are somehow eliminating the pain associated with their loss. Cremation is not a way of eliminating your grief, but a process of preparing your loved one for his or her final resting place. Cremation is just one step in the commemorative process – an important step in preparing the remains for memorialization.
Memorial Service Held in the Home
Veteran's Memorial Service- Orange County NY Veteran's Cemetery
Simple or "Direct" Cremation
Direct cremation is a disposition option in which the body is cremated in the days immediately following the death, without a funeral service beforehand. Direct cremation is the most economic (affordable) option for disposition.
Memorial Gathering/Repast Luncheon
Zygmunt-Murtie Funeral and Cremation Service is proud to offer our assistance with gatherings of family and friends following services. We have worked with our local caterers and venues to provide the ideal space and menu to meet your needs.
- Warwick Center - Mulder Chapel
- The Warwick Valley Country Club
- The Landmark Inn
- Smokey's Tavern
- Country Kitchen Catering
- And many more....
All photos are used with permission or are the property of Zygmunt-Murtie Memorials, LLC. All honored client-families served have granted use of these photos.