Although pre-planning your own funeral service may not be at the top of your "fun activities" list, it can give you true peace of mind. Think of the funeral services that you have been to in the past, and ask yourself whether those services truly embodied the people they were meant to honor. Sometimes, unfortunately, the answer is no. Funeral services can be very generic, but they don't have to be that way. When you pass away, you deserve services that are a true reflection of your wishes. This makes the services more meaningful for the attendees, as well. Here are the first five questions you should ask yourself as you pre-plan funeral services.
- What Type of Location? If you have a close church family and want your final services to be held there, it makes a lot of sense to do so. However, you may have no church affiliation, and would feel uncomfortable with asking your loved ones to gather at a church. In that case, a funeral home environment may be ideal.
- Who Should Officiate? You can choose anyone you like to officiate the funeral. The person who officiates the funeral services is in charge of leading the service. This can include saying the eulogy, announcing other speakers, leading the attendees in prayer, and any other aspects of service leadership. Funeral homes normally provide an officiant from their staff, but if you prefer religious officiant, you can designate someone a local church. If you prefer a more casual feel, you can even ask a family member or friend to serve as the officiant.
- Open or Closed Casket? This is an entirely personal question, and it can be tough to decide. Ask yourself how you felt about the open-casket funerals you've been to. Were you comfortable with that, or did you feel closed-casket would have been better?
- Do You Want Music? Music can be a very special part of a funeral service, especially if it brings the departed loved one to mind. If there is music that is especially meaningful to you, or music that others associate with you, this might be a good choice to have played at the services. Remember that you also have the option to designate a friend or loved one to perform a song live at the funeral.
- Should There Be a Reception? Many funerals are followed by a reception of some type. The reception is typically a time for the funeral attendees to gather, have some light refreshments, and share memories of the departed loved one. You can designate the funeral home, a church, or a loved one's home as the reception location if you choose to have one.
The five questions posed in this article are only initial part of funeral pre-planning. There are a number of other things that your loved ones will need to know when the time comes for your funeral services. It can be very helpful to hire a funeral services director who can lead you through the entire process of planning a truly customized funeral! Talk to funeral experts, such as Shepherd Funeral Home, for more information.