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Contemporary Funerals

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.


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