Funeral Planning – How to Make Meaningful Arrangements

Many decisions must be made when planning a funeral. Critical decisions include whether burial or cremation is preferred, visitation arrangements, and funeral service options. These decisions can be intimidating, but funeral professionals have a wealth of experience and are there to help. Open and transparent communication is critical during this time.

Preparing for the Service

Are you planning a funeral in Ottawa? Discover our compassionate services. Whether the deceased was buried or cremated, funeral services are essential to celebrate life and comfort grieving friends and family members. Many families include religious components such as hymns, scripture readings, a sermon, or prayers at the service. Other elements that can be incorporated into the ceremony include a memorial video, slideshow, or personal memorabilia. You may also wish to invite guests to sign a guest book and share their favorite memory of the deceased or add a memorable line from a song, poem, or prayer. You must decide on the service order, who will read the obituary, and deliver the eulogy and other speaking parts at the service. You will also need to select an officiant and determine if you want attendees to send flowers or donate to a cause in the deceased’s name. You must also decide if you want a reception after the service.

Choosing a Venue

One of the first things you must consider is where you want the funeral service to occur. This is particularly important if the deceased left specific instructions on this matter. If so, follow them closely and visit venues before making arrangements. Traditionally, a service occurs in the loved one’s home or at a crematorium, but many alternatives exist. For instance, if they were very into nature, you could hold a service at the local national park or even a beach. You can also have a memorial service, which is less formal and typically held within days of the cremation or a few months later. You can organize it at a significant venue for your loved one, a hotel, pub, club, or even home. Similarly, you can opt for a celebration of life. This trend is growing and can be a more flexible and intimate alternative.

Organizing the Arrangements

Whether you want a traditional funeral or something unique, many details must be planned. This can include a pre-service reception, choosing songs or music for the service, deciding who will speak during an open mic time, creating a slideshow or video tribute, and more. Some of these tasks may be more difficult, especially when dealing with grief. In these instances, having a family member or friend present for emotional support and taking notes is helpful. If the deceased had prepaid for a funeral arrangement or purchased cemetery property, you must bring that information with you. Acquiring a death certificate is essential, which will help you finalize any financial affairs, such as canceling credit cards or filing life insurance claims. You will need to determine whether you want a viewing or visitation service and, if so, a closed or open casket.

Preparing Yourself

While nobody wants to think about their mortality, it is essential to talk about these issues with loved ones. Talking about funeral arrangements now may make the whole process much easier for your family after your passing. Depending on your preferences, many decisions need to be made. For example, you must choose a casket or urn, a burial or cremation service, a funeral or memorial ceremony, and a grave marker or inscription. Consider the type of food served after the service and whether or not you’d like a video tribute or other special touches. Choosing flowers is another critical consideration. While some prefer traditional arrangements like lilies or roses, unorthodox flower choices are acceptable. If you want to make your service more personal, we recommend avoiding traditional guest books and instead asking guests to sign their names on a signature picture frame that includes a photo of your loved one.

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