By Matt Frazer
A contemporary funeral, to some, can more truly reflect
the character, life, ideals and beliefs of the person
who has passed away. Because there are no set
expectations or traditions associated with a
contemporary funeral, planning this type of
non-traditional funeral requires more thought and
possibly more work to create a memorable event.
With a traditional funeral, the choices are easier
because there's an established etiquette for the
different stages of the ceremony. In the United States,
a traditional funeral has specific elements, which
usually include: a viewing or wake, a formal service,
the use of a hearse to transfer the body to the
cemetery, and burial or entombment of the remains. A
contemporary funeral, in comparison, can combine some,
all, or none of these elements. Basically the sky is the
limit with a contemporary funeral. They can be whatever
the family, or the deceased, if he had the forethought
to preplan his funeral, wants.
It's becoming apparent that the traditional funeral is
evolving. Many traditional funerals now incorporate the
customs and ceremonies of different cultures. Cremation,
not long ago, was viewed to be a contemporary option
whereas today it is as main stream as a traditional
funeral. With the lines between the two types of
funerals blurring more and more, there are not two
distinct types, but more of a metamorphosis of the two.
For example: An individual may wish to be cremated
following a viewing or wake. The family may hold a
service with the ashes present and then scatter the
cremains at the deceased's favorite fishing hole.
Because many mourners are opting to blur these lines,
contemporary is becoming the new traditional funeral.
No matter what type of funeral a family chooses, the
most important thing to remember is that the funeral is
marking a significant event in time - the end of a life.
Each family should have the choice on how they say their
final farewells. However, if a contemporary is what a
family decides upon, here are some ideas:
Cremation and Ash Scattering. After the ashes are
scattered, the family can have a private dinner followed
by the viewing of a DVD tribute video filled with
special music and photographs of the family and their
loved one throughout the years.
Wake with a Formal Service and Green Burial. Green
burials are also an up and coming contemporary funeral
option. Again, a traditional funeral can be modified to
meet the family's wishes for a more eco-friendly burial
utilizing a biodegradable urn or shroud for burial.
During the service the funeral home can offer funeral
webcasting for those family and friends that can't
attend the service in person due to health issues,
financial constraints or other personal reasons.
Direct Burial and Holiday Remembrance Memorial Service.
For families that do not wish to have any formal
service, yet still want to bury their loved one in the
family plot, this is a good option. Getting through the
first holiday without their loved one can be difficult.
Many feel that holding a special memorial service during
this time to remember their loved one is a comforting
event. Each attendee can be given a remembrance ornament
to cherish for years to come.
The best place on the web to learn more about funeral
personalization is Frazer Consultants. This company has
a solid reputation of developing high performing and
reliable technology for the death care industry
including software to create personalized funeral
stationery, DVD tribute videos and provide funeral
webcasting. They also have a beautiful selection of
funeral candles and remembrance ornaments.