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 a the funeral, whereas other families choose to have a favorite clergyperson or non-religious celebrant speak. Speakers may offer prayers or words or wisdom, as well as remarks on the deceased’s life and character.

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 clergy person 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 present in a decorative urn. 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.