How Does a Traditional Funeral Compare to a Memorial Service?

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A traditional funeral and a memorial service can both look similar, but they can appear very different as well. The essential difference between a traditional funeral and a memorial service is the presence of the body of the person who has passed. At a funeral, the deceased’s body must be present, generally in either an open or closed casket. A memorial service takes place without the body present. Often people who choose cremation services near Chesterfield, VA, will have a memorial service in their honor, although this is not always the case.

A traditional funeral will often follow a similar chain of events. First, a visitation or viewing will take place, usually the day before the funeral service. This provides an opportunity for family and friends to come offer their condolences to the family, as well as say a final goodbye to the person they lost. A viewing would involve an open casket, while the casket would be closed for a visitation. Another benefit to having a viewing the day prior to the funeral is that it provides two different days for people to pay their respects, which can be helpful for those with a busy schedule. The funeral itself will often take place at a funeral home or a place of worship, with someone officiating the services. After its conclusion, there may be a procession to the cemetery for the burial service, or the person’s body may be transported to the crematory.

A memorial service can look very similar, often still taking place at a funeral home or church. However, it proceeds without the presence of a casket or the body of the departed. In most cases, this is because the person has undergone cremation services prior to the memorial. This may be due to particular circumstances, or perhaps it was necessary to hold the memorial at a later date than would be possible for a traditional funeral. Whatever the reason may be, a memorial service can still be a special and meaningful way for family and friends to pay respects, offer condolences, and take the next step in the acceptance and grieving process. It’s a way to remember the life lived by your cherished one, and a chance to pay tribute to their memory. There are many ways to make a memorial service unique, like having a “celebration of life”, which typically has a more upbeat and celebratory atmosphere. However you choose to do it, it will offer comfort and peace to those attending.

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate and memorialize the life of your loved one. Whether your religion requires a traditional funeral to take place, or your loved one preferred to have a more unique memorial service in their honor, the most important thing is that family and friends can gather to celebrate their memory. Your provider of cremation services near Chesterfield, VA, can help you to plan your loved one’s funeral or memorial service, connecting you with trusted funeral homes or other resources. Then you can decide on a fitting service to honor your loved one.

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