When you plan a funeral for a loved one, chances are you will be in contact with the funeral director and/or the funeral assistant for most of the time. These individuals serve as the point of communication for almost all your burial and cremation needs, making it easy for you to form a personal connection and ensure that you receive the high level of service you deserve. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Funeral homes’
One of the biggest warnings against pre-paying for a funeral is what happens if the funeral home goes out of business. The entire point of pre-arrangement is that you can solidify your funeral plans ahead of time, leaving you worry-free and able to spend your money however you wish. So, the idea that a funeral home might someday terminate services and leave you holding a useless contract is one that may be understandably frightening. (more…)
When you or a loved one serves as part of the United States Armed Services, there are certain death benefits and assistance you become eligible for. Navigating the system can be difficult if you’re reeling from a sudden loss, and there may be certain funds that you have to seek out to receive, so it’s a good idea to look into all your options. Any help you can get during this difficult time is worth considering—especially if your loved one served the country in any capacity. (more…)
Images of funerals in the movies and on TV often give a skewed vision of what mourning looks like. In many of the on-screen depictions of burial or ash-scattering ceremonies, families appear collected and dignified in their grief. Everyone is dressed in a well-tailored suit of black and holds an umbrella to keep the rain away. Limos and other dark sedans transport everyone to and from the funeral home. Families travel from hundreds of miles away and meet again after years apart.
The cremation process is difficult for many people to picture happening to their loved one’s remains. Unlike burial, which gives a feeling of calm quiet and eternal rest, cremation is hot, messy, and oftentimes frightening. You might be afraid that the body won’t be treated with respect, or that the incredibly high temperatures required to break a body down are uncontrolled and dangerous.
While historical cremation practices might hold this to be true, modern-day cremation and cremation ovens are quite safe, sanitary, and practical. The cremation process is regulated so that it becomes more of a scientific breakdown of bodily remains than a blazing inferno, with the result that it is actually more decorous than the slow decay of a body underground.
When most people plan a traditional burial during funeral plans, they do it because there is comfort to be found in the familiar. The act of saying goodbye to a loved one is something that everyone goes through at some time or another, spanning generations and cultures and even socioeconomic status. No matter what the circumstances of your loss, knowing others have gone through the same funeral planning steps you have is a good way to put your grief into perspective.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize a funeral. Some of the best traditions are the ones we make ourselves, and customizing burial is easier than ever before thanks to retailers offering more options in casket colors, materials, and details. For example, pink caskets are growing in popularity among female burials (or may even be purchased as part of the breast cancer awareness campaign). Offered in everything from a delicate shell to a more vibrant shade of pink, caskets like these allow you to add a touch of color and whimsy to an otherwise bleak day.
Jewish funeral customs are some of the most unique and beautiful traditions in the burial industry. With a focus on a strong sense of community and mourning, these customs range from the strict preparation of the body to mourning habits like sitting shiva (a seven-day mourning period observed by the immediate family of the deceased).
In keeping with these religious rites is the chevra kadisha, a holy society (or organization) composed of individuals who oversee the process of preparing the body of the deceased for burial. Central to the concept of chevra kadisha are showing a proper level of respect for the body and ensuring that the ritual cleansing and dressing of the body is in keeping with Jewish standards.
Why Body Preparation is Important
In today’s funeral industry, body preparation tends to be a fairly invasive process. From autopsies and embalming to the thick layers of makeup put on to hold an open casket ceremony, there can be quite a bit of physical manipulation done to what remains of the person you loved.
In the Jewish tradition of chevra kadisha, this aggressive approach is set aside in favor of a more personalized purification rite. Those who are tasked with the body’s preparation are considered to be doing an incredibly good and selfless deed, as their task is one that is done for reasons of kindness.
In an age when everyone is trying to cut back on their expenditures, it might seem like a good idea to reduce funeral costs by choosing a discount funeral home. Traditional funerals can be quite expensive—particularly if no advance funeral arrangements were made—and the stress associated with paying for a burial among the rest of the emotional toll death takes can rapidly push a family over the edge.
Discount funeral homes exist to provide a lower-cost alternative to families who want to save money on planning a funeral. They exist in large part because funeral homes have become so corporatized in the past few decades. Discount funeral homes found a niche market among these corporations, where discounts and great customer service drive sales.
This can be good news for consumers. As is the case with any type of free market like this, funeral homes competing with one another to lower prices, provide better service, and increase your options means that you have more freedom of choice. But how far is too far?
For some families, that answer is when discount funeral homes begin to cut back on some of the more time-honored traditions that bring comfort to grieving families.
Discount Funeral Homes
There is perhaps no better way to cut back on funeral costs than to take a community approach to burial. Part of the reason funerals are so expensive is because most families go through the process alone. They meet with a funeral home, make decisions in isolation, and handle the entire burden by themselves. This type of process makes it difficult to share resources and even best practices—two things that can actually end up saving thousands of dollars on a funeral.
What is a Funeral Committee?
Funeral committees are a community, church, or other group effort created to establish a safe place for families to turn for low-cost burials in keeping with local traditions. Most funeral committees exist within religious institutions (since so many burial practices have their roots in a specific religious ideology), and are formed as part of a congregation effort to make planning a funeral on everyone involved.