Graveside funeral ceremonies

A graveside funeral service provides a time for family and friends to gather at our funeral home for a visitation and then attend a simple ceremony at the cemetery before burial. The visitation is time for you to say goodbye to your loved one in their casket, if desired. The casket will be closed at the cemetery. After the visitation, the graveside service is usually attended only by family and close friends, but can be open to all if the family wishes.

Depending on traffic conditions, the family may drive in procession to the cemetery from the visitation or simply meet at the cemetery. If a procession is chosen, it will be very important for all drivers to follow the signals from the escort professionals and be attentive.

Upon arrival at the cemetery, the pallbearers will carry the casket to the gravesite and place it on top of a stand. Any flower arrangements or plants that are sent to the family will be arranged on or around the casket, and may be taken by family members after the service concludes.

You will want to have someone prepared to speak at the service, such as a minister, celebrant, close friend or family member. This message does not have to be long, but should be a fitting farewell to your loved one, and include anecdotes, special memories and stories about their life. A eulogist might also read letters or messages from family members who do not want to speak at the service. We share some advice for giving a eulogy in this article.

If the deceased was a veteran, we will arrange to have a Military Funeral Honors Ceremony performed by local active duty personnel or veterans. This touching ceremony will include the playing of Taps and the folding and presentation of the United States flag.

You may also choose to include additional components such as a butterfly release, live or recorded music or a time for guests to share memories of your loved one. We can help you plan for any of these elements.

After the remarks and ceremony elements are concluded, the family will leave the cemetery and perhaps go back to the church or a restaurant for a meal. The casket will be lowered into the ground and the grave covered by the cemetery staff. Typically this is done after the family leaves, but if you prefer to stay for that part, you may.

A graveside service is a special time to say a final goodbye to your loved one. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, please give us a call today, or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch soon.

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