The core purpose of a funeral is to reflect on the meaning of a life that has been lived and to allow that meaning to take root in the hearts and minds of those who attend. There is no single proper funeral service; a funeral is proper if it addresses your emotional and spiritual needs and has meaning for you. As you participate in the planning of the funeral service, you are taking an active role in your journey of grief and you, in the process, help create a meaningful experience for everyone.
It is the goal of Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. to provide a climate that encourages each person to receive and, in turn, give emotional support. During the funeral service, family and friends have the opportunity to relate to each other and find mutual strength.
Below is a description of some of the more common service types. As you read through the list, remember that you are not bound to follow any prescribed format.
Complete Funeral Service
A traditional funeral includes a family or public viewing of the deceased followed by a service, usually in a church or at our funeral home. Typically, the service concludes with earthen burial or above ground entombment of the casketed remains. Caskets selected may cost from several hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on the construction of the casket.
Many cemeteries require that a minimum grave liner be used to encase the casket with earthen burial. These minimum liners are constructed of concrete and are designed to hold the weight of the earth which helps maintain the cemetery property. A sealed vault may also be used. The vaults are likewise constructed of concrete and are designed to not only protect the gravesite, but are manufactured with inner liners which restrict the entrance of graveside elements (water and earth) and increase the strength of the vault.
Occasionally, the only service that is performed for a recently deceased person is a graveside service. Such an arrangement is typical if the family wishes no viewing and service or if embalming was not performed. A clergyperson is usually present and is even necessary in the case of some religious denominations.
Usually, a graveside service also follows a traditional funeral. In this case, the casket is transported after the service to the cemetery where services are concluded at graveside. The actual burial is usually done after the attendees leave the cemetery.
Complete Cremation Service
A cremation service can be similar to a traditional funeral with the exception that cremation will follow the services in lieu of the casketed burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (a casket that is designed to be cremated) or a rental casket (a casket with a removable insert that reposes the deceased). Following the viewing, service or ceremony and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safekeeping.
Please note that the practice of cremation is discouraged by some religions. Other religions allow for cremation but have placed restrictions on what is permitted for the final disposition of the cremated remains.
Urns are used to hold the cremated remains. Urns can be constructed out of basic materials like cardboard or plastic, or constructed out of more protective materials like basic and semi-precious metals, ceramics, and woods.
Immediate Cremation Service
The Immediate Cremation Service can be arranged as an immediate disposition of the body, but is most times prefaced by a viewing or followed by a memorial service at the church, funeral home or other location. A memorial service is one where the body is not present. We recommend that if you select an immediate cremation you allow yourself and your family a time, if possible, to privately view the deceased. If the viewing can be done in a matter of a few hours after the death, then embalming will not be necessary. If there is to be a long delay (more than 8-12 hours) then embalming is encouraged. State laws vary as to when embalming becomes required but, in Pennsylvania, that time restriction is twenty four hours.
Viewing of the deceased is usually an important step in emotionally acknowledging that the death has occurred. Having some type of service or ceremony, even if it is a memorial service, is also a key factor to a healthy recovery from a loss due to a death.
We encourage families to create very personalized services. It is important to acknowledge a life that has been lived in a way that is consistent with the lifestyle of the deceased. By offering services and memorialization features that are personal and special, a unique life can be remembered and honored in an individualized way that is comforting to the family and friends. Ways to personalize a service include flowers, photos, DVDs, prayer cards, memorial folders, personal testimonies, art work, letters, and other individual expressions of grief.
How Your Funeral Director Can Serve You
There are a number of things that require attention simultaneously when a death occurs. Our funeral directors, historically called morticians, are always prepared to respond to your needs quickly and competently. The funeral director's main function is to assist you with the necessary details of the funeral process. Among the services funeral directors provide are:
- Arranging the plans for the funeral services.
- Care, custody, and embalming of the body.
- Coordinating all details with the clergy.
- Arranging the music you have selected.
- Placing obituaries and funeral notices in newspapers.
- Arranging for burial or cremation.
- Arranging for veteran or fraternal benefits.
- Assisting in arrangements for cemetery space, grave opening and closing, flowers and monuments.
- Securing necessary permits and death certificates.
- Arranging transportation for you and the members of your family prior to, during, and after the funeral.
- Supervision of the funeral, memorial service, or burial.
- Basic guidance on financial and legal matters related to death.
- Assistance with managing sensitive relationships with family or friends as they relate to the funeral.
- All necessary arrangements for transportation, funeral service, and burial of the deceased if the body is to be sent to a distant location.
For more information about our professional services, please call us at (570) 668-0390 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help.