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The Purpose of Funerals

Published: April 17, 2023
by Simply Cremations & Funeral Services
Airdrie AB funeral homes

The funeral process at Airdrie, AB funeral homes is full of rituals and symbols that allow the memory of the deceased to be honored, enable friends and family to say goodbye, and provide care and empathy for the family that has lost a loved one.

One funeral ritual is visitation or viewing. This usually precedes the actual funeral service and is an allotted period of time for mourners to visit with the family and, if there's a viewing, to pay their respects to the person who has died.

Since funerals have a more somber quality to them than celebrations of life, the visitation is a quiet, low-key event where people stop briefly to talk with the family, express condolences, offer support, and then proceed to a seat to wait for the funeral service to start.

The funeral service itself is highly-customizable in content, but the structure usually includes readings, eulogies, a short sermon (if the person was religious), music, and a prayer.

The readings are often poems or parts of books that were important to the deceased. They often give new insights into who the deceased was, what mattered to them, and how they thought and lived life. They honor the wholeness of the person that people may have only known in a specific and limited context, such as work or in a social or sports association.

Eulogies are sometimes given by family members, but because this is such an emotional time for them, they are most often given by the deceased's closest friends. Eulogies, in general, speak to the character of the deceased. They draw a portrait of the deceased through histories and stories that point to what made the deceased's life important, how they impacted the people and world around them, and what kind of relationships they cultivated along the way.

If a sermon is given, it will be short. Unless the deceased's pastor knew in advance what spiritual insights or message the deceased would have wanted conveying, the sermon will focus on hope, the future, and healing, using scriptures to encourage the family and the mourners that the deceased is in good hands and that they will all see each other again.

Music, like the readings, will reflect the tastes and sentiments of the deceased. There are no boundaries on what type of music can be and is played during funeral services. Songs may have been chosen by the deceased, or they may be chosen by members of the family to recall a special memory of or anniversary with the deceased.

The final part of the funeral service itself is a prayer. This is a prayer for the family and the mourners. It will ask for comfort, peace, and for healing in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead for everybody. After the prayer, the funeral director will make any announcements regarding other services. The graveside service may be held directly after the funeral service or it may be held the next day. The funeral director will give instructions for the graveside services, as well as provide the name of the cemetery where the burial will take place and what time the services will begin. For more information on funeral services at Airdrie, AB funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced staff at Simply Cremations & Funeral Services can help.