Suggested questions to ask your funeral director:
Who would be looking after us/our family?
Is your company operated by a family or a larger agency?
Does your company have a mission statement?
Would you come to our home to discuss arrangements at our convenience?
Is there any cost for this service?
Who would be looking after the body of my loved one? Can we meet them?
Where will the deceased be cared for and kept until the time of the service?
Can we help care for the deceased with dressing or cosmetics?
What type of caskets do you offer?
Can we supply our own casket?
Can we provide our own transportation as an alternative to carry the casket?
How many pallbearers do we need? Can anyone be a pallbearer?
Can we have a price list emailed to us?
Is embalming required for all types of services?
Can we arrange for a natural burial service?
What are the various types of cremations options you offer?
Can we make our ceremony unique and special?
Can you arrange for military honors for our service?
Who is a natural burial for?
Natural burials are for everyone, but they may particularly appeal to those that desire a simpler burial process, to those that believe that the body is best returned to the earth upon death, and to those with a passion for conservationism.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of people rejecting traditional burial customs and opting for a burial that better suits their beliefs, attitude toward death and personal philosophy.
While traditional burial methods are still the popular choice, natural burial is emerging as a popular way of conducting a funeral. As with all matters relating to death, it’s important to consider the wishes of the deceased and to fulfill them as far as possible, regardless of whether they coincide with contemporary attitude and practices.
Natural burial attempts to return a body to the earth. This generally involves a rejection of embalming processes, metal caskets or burial vaults. There is no viewing of the deceased and the simple wooden casket remains closed. However, there may be a traditional funeral service or a graveside service.
Natural burials are legal in all fifty states, however, depending on your final resting place, there may be rules and regulations by the cemetery. It these cases, it’s best to consult the cemetery directly to learn about their interment restrictions.
Is scattering my ashes legal?
Yes, all states allow scattering of ashes. Some states require permits, particularly in state and national parks. Ashes may also be scattered at sea three miles or more from land. Reporting and conditions may apply. Scattering on private property is prohibited without the permission of the property owner.
Is embalming necessary for cremation?
No, embalming is not necessary for cremation. However, if there is a funeral service with viewing, embalming is required.
How can my family be sure the ashes they receive are mine?
Identification of the deceased is first established at the place of death; an identification band is placed around the ankle, which prevents confusion. Before the deceased is removed from the place of death, the identification band is rechecked against any paperwork and identification tags.
At the crematory, an assigned stainless-steel identification disc linked to the record of the deceased is placed with the body. Following cremation, the identification disc is placed in the urn with the cremated remains.
Can my Social Security and/or Veterans Benefits be used if I select cremation?
Visit the Social Security Administration website or the Department of Veterans Affairs website for the most current information. In short, the answer is yes, but restrictions and dollar limits apply.
Is there any special preparation required prior to cremation?
Families should remove all jewelry and mementos from the deceased prior to cremation. Also, families must notify the cremation provider if any medical devices are present.
What if I want a memorial service?
An advantage of cremation is that it offers flexibility. Families may choose to memorialize their loved one with a funeral prior to cremation or a memorial service after cremation. The memorial service can take place with or without the cremated remains. Cremation allows a celebration of life in any way and at any time you choose.
What is an urn?
An urn is a container used to hold cremated remains. A wide variety of urns are available – from a simple box to elaborately decorated containers of wood, metal, glass or clay.
Do all religions accept cremation?
Most religions permit cremation; some recommend it. Support for cremation is not universal among faiths, however. Consult your religious advisor with any questions about the appropriateness of cremation in your faith.
Is a casket required?
While individuals and families may purchase or rent a casket, it is not necessary for direct cremation. When a casket is not chosen, the deceased is placed in a combustible, environmentally safe container for respectful handling during the cremation process.
How soon after death can cremation take place?
The deceased stays in a safe, climate-controlled environment while death and cremation documents are processed. The required authorization for cremation by a coroner or medical examiner may take some time.
How can I make sure that my wishes will be honored once I’m gone, especially if my family wants something different, like a ground burial?
Making your final wishes clear in advance is the best way to ensure your instructions are met. You can also prepay for your cremation services and include doing a self-declaration for the state of Louisiana.
Is it possible for my loved ones to witness the cremation process?
Yes, just let us know in advance so we can arrange a mutually convenient time.
What should we bring for the arrangements?
A recent photograph
U. S. Armed Forces discharge papers
Life insurance policies
If applicable, cemetery information
If applicable, clothing (including undergarments)
If applicable, shoes and socks or hosiery
For the certificate, please provide:
Your loved one’s legal name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, residence address, occupation and type of industry, father’s name and birthplace, mother’s name, maiden name and birthplace, marital status, (spouse legal name and if applicable wife’s maiden name), education level, name of legal next of kin, telephone number, sex and race
For notices and obituaries, please provide:
Your loved one’s name to appear, including nickname
Place of worship or religious affiliation, organizations or memberships
Special achievements or hobbies
List of those who recently predeceased your loved one
Names of surviving relatives, spouse, children, parents, siblings, number of grandchildren and great grandchildren
Making Funeral Arrangements:
Dealing with death can be very difficult. You will likely experience a range of emotions. Moreover, you may be the person who is responsible for making arrangements for the funeral. This can be a big responsibility, especially if the deceased did not leave any plans for how they would like to be buried or cremated. With a little patience, though, you’ll be able to put together a memorable and loving service to pay tribute to your loved one.
Grieving the death of a child:
It is something that no parent should ever face. But, the service can have a significant impact and lasting impression on parents, siblings, grandparents and other children.
Whenever possible, both parents should be involved in planning the service; otherwise, the service could take away a crucial step in the healing process.
Many of the choices for children’s services are similar to what they would be for an adult. Parents will need to choose if the child will be buried or cremated and whether to hold a funeral or memorial service.
There are many creative ways to celebrate the young life, including using favorite music, art, or items. This helps give people a sense of the child’s personality and can bring back fond memories and stories for those closest to the child.
Steps in the death process:
Transportation of the deceased
Schedule arrangement time with funeral director
Arrangements with funeral director
Selection of casket, vault, or urn and memorial products
Arrangements with the church or venue
Selection of music, poems or readings
Arrangements with clergy or event planner
Arrangements, if applicable, with cemetery sexton
Notification to other relatives, friends, or co-workers
Notification, if applicable, to pallbearers
Arrangement for after service family meal or repass
Funeral service, memorial service or celebration gathering Interment, inurnment or scattering
Acknowledgments Estate, financial and administrative matters
Advance planning for other family members and one’s self
Who to call when death occurs at home?
If the deceased was under the care of hospice, notify the hospice nurse; otherwise, call the local police to report the death, and they will notify the coroner. Contact the funeral home and report the death of your loved one.
What do we do if our family death occurs away from home?
Contact our funeral home; your funeral director will arrange transportation from the place of death to our funeral home.
What is embalming?
It is a process that sanitizes and preserves the deceased. It delays the process of decomposition and allows time for viewing prior to burial or cremation. It restores a lifelike appearance to the remains and can enhance the appearance of a body that has undergone a traumatic death or illness.
What is a viewing/visitation/wake?
In our area of the country, viewings, visitations or wakes are generally synonymous terms for an informal gathering prior to the funeral or ceremony. This ceremony is a time for family, friends and colleagues of the deceased to visit, offer condolences to the family and socialize with them. A visitation allows people to visit and depart as they wish.
Why is a funeral important?
For many years, funerals have allowed survivors to express their feelings about the death of someone they love. The rituals provide comfort when things seem chaotic and out of control. The funeral is for expressing intense grief. For many, a visitation, funeral or memorial service is the first step in the grieving process. It is a time when friends, family and other guests can come together to grieve openly and to support one another in a community environment. It is also a time to say goodbye. Viewing the deceased can bring a sense of closure to the bereaved who may be in shock and denial.
How can I personalize a funeral or memorial service?
A service can be personalized in several ways. Every service should be as unique as the life being celebrated. Ideas for a special service are always welcome with our funeral directors. Personalized merchandise, such as caskets, urns and keepsakes can reflect the life of your loved one. Today, it is more popular to hold unique services outside of a funeral home chapel. Churches are always a warm and comforting place for a service. Memorial services can take place nearly anywhere: in your home, a local park or a venue. Whatever your preferences or ideas may be, we can work to help you create a memorable and meaningful tribute.
What is a memorial service?
A memorial service is a special ceremony that takes place without the deceased present. Memorials are often held in a church, fraternal hall or other location. A memorial service can take place just days after the death of a loved one or even weeks or months, allowing the family to make time for distant relatives to travel or reserve space at a special venue. As cremation has increased in popularity, so has the idea of a memorial service or gathering. Often, a memorial service will take place after cremation has occurred. Sometimes, the cremains will be present in a decorative urn.
Are memorial services exclusive to cremation?
No, memorial services are not exclusive to cremation. Many families will hold a memorial service after the burial has taken place. A memorial service can be held in conjunction with other services, like a visitation and funeral, or it can be the only service held to honor the life of your loved one.
Is a burial vault required by law?
No, however, some cemeteries do require the use of an outside burial container, like a vault or grave box. Your cemetery sexton or our funeral director will be able to provide you with that information.
How do I decide if cremation is right for me or my loved one?
Today, about 50 percent of people decide that cremation is the right choice for them. Whether or not to be cremated is a personal decision that only you can make. The best way to make an informed decision is to learn as much as you can about it. We have a comprehensive section of information relating to cremation services and options.
Do I need to have flowers at the service?
No, most families today request “in lieu of flowers” memorials. A donation is given to a charitable organization, hospice, church or a worthy cause in memory of your loved one. Clearly communicate how you prefer memorials to be sent.
Obviously, the amount of time you may take to plan and arrange a funeral or memorial service will vary based on whether you are organizing the service in advance of death.
©2018 Church Funeral Services.