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A traditional funeral service includes a viewing or visitation, a funeral ceremony, and burial at the gravesite. It is also commonly referred to as a “full service” funeral. Funeral home services include the initial transportation of the deceased to the funeral home, all facility needs, physical care of the deceased – including embalming, and automobiles for the transportation of the deceased.
It starts off with a viewing/visitation, where attendees can view the body and pay their respects to the family. A funeral service follows the viewing/visitation and is held at a funeral home, church, or other event space. Afterwards, the body is transported by procession to the cemetery/burial location and interred in the grave. There may also be a funeral reception for family and friends of the deceased to come together after the burial. (The cost of the reception is not included in the funeral home pricing detailed in InMemory.ca).
With a graveside service, the funeral service takes place at the cemetery or burial site. Funeral homes will still provide much of the same core services as with a traditional funeral – including the transportation and care of the deceased, but with a graveside service there is generally no visitation period and no embalming provided. Funeral attendees gather at the gravesite for a ceremony led by a chosen officiant and as with traditional funeral services, there may be eulogy readings, prayers, and music (although a graveside service tends to be for a shorter period). After the service the body is lowered into the grave or placed in a mausoleum or crypt.
A memorial service differs from a traditional or graveside service in that the body is not present. The deceased would have already been cremated with the memorial service taking place after the cremation had taken place. The urn containing the ashes may however be present during the memorial service. While the funeral home would be required to provide core services for the transportation and basic care of the deceased, other services such as embalming, visitation and the provision of a hearse are typically not required.
Memorial services are often less formal than a traditional funeral service with families using the occasion as a “celebration of life” giving family and friends the opportunity to share their memories of the deceased.