More often in today’s society, people are opting for cremation as part of their final wishes. When someone opts for their remains to be cremated, the funeral is somewhat different from a traditional funeral, in which the body is typically present in a casket, whether it is open or closed. Funeral etiquette is somewhat different when it comes to funerals where cremains are the only thing present. What are some of the differences between traditional funerals and cremation funerals when it comes to funeral etiquette?
Memorial Service vs Funeral Service
When it comes to remembering the deceased, frequently in cases of cremation, the ceremony is referred to as a memorial service rather than a funeral. Etiquette during the ceremony differs based on cultural and family traditions. Though they may differ in name, there is still a different flow of the service from the various eulogies to the message delivered by a spiritual leader. Memorial services are sometimes viewed as slightly more casual and there is occasionally time set aside for guests of the service to remember the deceased in their own way.
Photos and Donations versus Flowers
While flowers have long been the traditional condolence gift to send to a grieving family, funeral etiquette is changing to the point where some families will ask to have photos of the deceased sent via mail or email to be displayed in a collage at the memorial service instead of flowers. Other families will ask for donations to be made on behalf of the deceased to a specific charity to ensure that a cause important to the family can gain support.
Slideshows versus Viewing
When someone requests cremation, generally (but not always) there is no viewing. If the family opts for cremation without a viewing, oftentimes they will decide to have a slideshow to commemorate their loved one. The slideshows are often set to several of the deceased’s favorite songs or songs that are pertinent to their life. Many find these slideshows to be more uplifting than a viewing because they can see their loved one in action while they were living their life.
Spreading Ashes vs Burial Service
According to most traditional funeral etiquette, the burial service is held after the funeral and the casket has been carried to the cemetery. However, with the case of cremation, if there is no burial in a formal plot, the service to spread the cremains can occur at a different time and may be a small, private ceremony. Some even opt to have the cremains preserved in a beautiful cremation urn and displayed as a memorial in their home.