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What Makes For a Good Funeral?

What Makes For a Good Funeral?

A funeral service isn’t something any of us would usually think of as “good”. 

The death of a loved one is one of the most emotionally difficult and devastating events one can experience and we, of course, never want to face the possibility of such an incident occurring. Losing a loved one at some point however, is unfortunately a fact of life. When an event of this nature occurs, it is important that we give our loved one a proper send off, paying homage to them in a beautiful and meaningful way, rather than in a way that fails to honor them fittingly. Therefore, you can say that a “good” funeral is one that memorializes your loved one in a way that ideally suits them, turning what is otherwise a usually somber occasion into a ceremony filled with meaning that also uplifts those in attendance. 

We believe when there is thought, love and care put into a funeral service, it can become an opportunity to rightfully honor a loved one that has passed away, celebrate the life and legacy they led, and cherish all loved ones and friends in attendance. We are by no means referring to a funeral service as good because of how extravagant or entertaining it was. However, we are speaking of a funeral service that is memorable, welcoming, compassionate, heartwarming, full of love and even hope, and ultimately worthy of the one being honored.

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What’s the Difference Between a Wake, Viewing, and Funeral?

What’s the Difference Between a Wake, Viewing, and Funeral?

When a friend, colleague, or family member passes away, it is only natural that you would want to express your condolences and pay your respects. There are different kinds of formal gatherings or ceremonies that are held to honor the deceased. Besides a funeral service, some families choose to hold a wake or viewing as well.

To pay tribute to the deceased, you may feel that you should attend at least one of these services, but not sure which of them you should necessarily attend. You may also be wondering what you should expect at each of these kinds of ceremonies, and what they each entail.

We will break down the differences between a wake, viewing and a funeral to help you prepare for each of these ceremonies, offer insight into the role each plays in honoring the deceased, as well as help you decide which of them you should attend.

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When Is the Best Time to Hold a Funeral Service?

When Is the Best Time to Hold a Funeral Service?

When a loved one passes away, one of the most common questions that comes up is when is the best time to hold funeral services for them. The answer will of course depend on a variety of different factors depending on the family’s religious affiliations, the wishes of the decedent, the availability of your funeral director as well as other family circumstances.

According to sources, the average duration of time between death and funeral is from under 10 days to over three weeks. However, funeral services can even take place as quickly as the same day of death or next day. It is important that you and your family choose the best time to arrange a funeral service for your loved one that best aligns with you and your family’s needs to enable you to create a meaningful memorialization experience that honors the memory and life of your loved one. We understand this is a sensitive topic so we wanted to address this question to help families navigate this delicate and difficult time.

Religious Considerations

Certain religions abide by specific guidelines in regards to holding funeral services for their deceased loved ones. For instance in the Jewish religion, it is believed that the deceased should be buried within 1 day of their death. Muslims also believe that burial should be done quickly and for this reason, they do not embalm the deceased. If the family of the deceased observes a specific religion, they may take that into consideration when planning the funeral service to be in accordance with their beliefs surrounding death, burial, funerals and memorialization services.

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Muslim Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

Muslim Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

No matter what religion or traditions it abides by, a funeral service is a ceremony that holds profound meaning and sentiment. Having familiarity with the customs and etiquette that a specific religion traditionally follows at a funeral service is vital, helping you know what to expect so you can best pay your respects the mourning family and loved ones of the decedent

If you will be attending a Muslim funeral service in the near future, you may have questions as to what etiquette the religion follows as well as the typical traditions it adheres to. This article will offer an in-depth guide to Muslim funeral traditions in, so you are prepared to pay your respects and offer support at a Muslim funeral service.

What Does Death Mean in the Islamic Religion? 

As Muslims practice the religion of Islam, a Muslim funeral service is also referred to as an Islamic funeral service.  If we look at the meaning of the word, Islam, we can have better insight into the religion and the role that death then plays. The word Islam translates to: “achievement of peace with Allah (God and aman, and complete resignation to Allah in thoughts, words, beliefs, and deed. “ Muslims believe that death is not an end, but a transition into afterlife. The goal is to have been a good person deemed worthy of entering Paradise. When a Muslim passes away, an Islamic funeral service service as an opportunity for loved ones to pay tribute and mourn for the deceased while appealing to the mercy of Allah to have forgiveness for the decedent’s soul and grant him or her entry into Paradise. 

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Guide to Dressing for a Funeral

Guide to Dressing for a Funeral

If you are going to be attending a funeral in the near future, you may be wondering what would be appropriate or acceptable clothing to wear for such an occasion. As funerals are somber events, it is best to dress in a way that acknowledges the seriousness of the situation and pays proper respects to the deceased, as well as their family and loved ones. 

We have put together a helpful guide with tips for navigating how to dress for a funeral, so you are best prepared and know what to expect. 

Stick to Modest Clothing

As funerals are melancholy occasions, it is best to take the perspective that you should be blending in and fitting in amongst the other funeral attendees, rather than standing out. This means you should avoid ornate or flashy clothing with vibrant colors, bold graphics or embellishments. Now is not the time to have all eyes on you. While you don’t necessarily have to wear black, it is best to stick to conservative, more modest clothing, so women should also avoid any overly revealing clothing such as plunging necklines or short hemlines. To get a better sense of the kinds of clothing that are appropriate for a funeral, consider the dress code you would adhere to for a business interview or while attending church. 

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Mormon Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

Mormon Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

Funeral services, no matter what religion or faith they observe may abide by certain traditions and customs to enhance their spiritual meaning and sentiment in tribute of the person who passed. It is important to understand what these customs and traditions are so you best know how to pay your respects.

If you are attending a Mormon funeral in the near future, you may be wondering what the typical traditions and etiquette a Mormon funeral service observes. We have put together a guide here to help you understand the religious traditions of a Mormon funeral so you are prepared and know what to expect. 

Mormons’ Spiritual Beliefs on Death

In the Mormon religion, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, it is believed that death represents the soul’s separation from the body. Mormons believe that after passing, a person will be judged based on the goodness of their spirit. Souls that are deemed good will be granted respite in paradise, while those not deemed worthy will go to a place called spirit prison. As such, honoring traditional customs after a Mornom has passed is important to celebrate the person’s life and to pay homage to their soul as it makes its way to its afterlife.

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Jewish Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

Jewish Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

A funeral service, regardless of which faith or religion’s traditions it abides by, is always a ceremony of great sentiment, emotion and meaning. If you are attending a Jewish funeral service in the near future, you may have questions as to what the ceremony will entail, the proper etiquette to follow and the traditions that will be observed. We have put together an overview of the traditions and etiquette you would normally experience at a Jewish funeral service, so you are best prepared to pay your respects at the Jewish funeral of a friend or family member.

A few words on life and death according to the Jewish religion

It is believed that while there is a right way to live as a Jew, the same goes for death, in that there is a right way to die and be buried as a Jew. According to the Jewish religion, it is believed that all people are created in the image of God. Jewish people abide by the philosophy that one should embrace life while accepting the eventuality of death. They hold the belief that while there is no one or right view in regard to what will happen in the afterlife, and are free to choose whether to believe in heaven or not, there is a strong focus on doing good deeds during life, so as to live in the image of God According to Jewish tradition, it is considered a mitzvot (commandment) of profound significance to accompany the decedent to their burial, helping them reach their eternal resting place.

When should a Jewish funeral service take place?

According to the Jewish religion, the burial of the decedent should take place within a day of their passing or the soonest possible date it can be arranged. However, with loved ones coordinating travel plans from all over to attend the funeral, it is accepted and common nowadays for the funeral to take place a few days after the decedent’s passing.

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Catholic Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

Catholic Funeral Service Traditions and Etiquette

When you are attending the funeral of a loved one or a friend whose family will be observing the traditions of a particular religion, it is important to understand and be aware of that religion’s traditions and etiquette. In this article, we will be exploring Catholic funeral traditions in depth so you know what to expect and how to follow proper etiquette to best be able to pay your respects to the decedent and their loved ones.

What function does the Catholic funeral service serve?

In the Catholic religion, when someone of the Catholic faith passes away, a Catholic funeral service is held for them. Beyond commemorating and celebrating the life of the deceased person and the meaning they possessed to their loved ones, the funeral service performs an important function. As it is believed in the Catholic faith that the deceased will be given access to Heaven if they are granted forgiveness by God, the funeral service serves as a chance for the decedent’s loved ones to appeal to God to receive his mercy. As such, you will hear various prayers being spoken at a Catholic funeral service, as well as discussion of the deceased now being at home with God that will offer comfort to loved ones in mourning.

Catholic Vigil (Wake)

In the Catholic religion, the family of the deceased traditionally hold a Catholic vigil or wake which takes palce after the passing of their loved one, but prior to the funeral mass and burial, typically held the day or evening before the funeral service. The vigil service may be performed at a Catholic church, the funeral home, or the home of the decedent. An important time to the loved ones of the deceased, the vigil allows family and friends to gather in prayer to offer their condolences to the decedent, and to support the grieving family. There may be readings and reflections to observe the Catholic scripture. Eulogies, singing and even poetry may also be performed during this ceremony.

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15 Condolence Messages for Work Colleagues

15 Condolence Messages for Work Colleagues

What do you say to a colleague when they’ve suffered a loss of a loved one? It can be tricky to navigate this, since the relationship is likely to be mostly professional. We do often get to know our coworkers on a personal level, sometimes even going for an after work drink if not attending holiday parties together. We may know some information about their lives, but not think of these people as close friends. It could feel like more of a fairweather acquaintance. But, we interact with these people on a daily basis and so we want to create a comfortable and supportive environment for them and ourselves. When we’re given the information that a coworker’s family member or friend has passed away, we feel the need to pay our respects yet remain professional. Whether or not the relationship is such that you feel the best thing is to attend the funeral or memorial services, then a message is a great way to show you are thinking of them during this difficult time. Below are examples of 15 condolence messages to send to a coworker. Feel free to take what you read and change it if you need.

15 Condolence Message Examples

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss
  2. Please accept my condolences for your recent loss.
  3. My deepest condolences for the loss of your loved one.
  4. I remember hearing stories of your loved one. I am so sorry for your loss.
  5. I am thinking of you and your family right now. 
  6. My heart goes out to you and your family right now.
  7. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
  8. My condolences as your grieve.
  9. Everyone in the office is here for you for whatever you need.
  10. I am lighting a candle in honor of your dear loved one’s loss. 
  11. Take all the time you need, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
  12. I know this is such a hard time for you, I’m sure the services will be beautiful as you remember his/her life.
  13. I am sending my love to you and your family.
  14. We are all thinking of you and your family.
  15. We send our deepest condolences for your loss. 

When it comes to a coworker’s loss, you can also send a message for the entire office if you choose. The wording can be changed to “we”, as seen above in some examples.

Whomever it is in your life who is going through the death of a loved one, condolence messages are considered standard. They are offered either through email, text, phone call, or an in-person visit. 

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15 Condolence Messages for Friends

15 Condolence Messages for Friends

When your friend loses a loved one, whether it’s a parent, grandparent, child, or other close relation, a natural reaction is to support your friend however you can. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know how to comfort someone who’s grieving. Even if you have a similar experience, the heartbreak in someone else still can feel inaccessible or impenetrable. One of the best things to remember is that you’re not going to make the pain go away. Your primary purpose is to show your friend how much you love and care for him or her, and that you’re there to give support in whatever way you can. 

If You’re Close to Someone Who’s Grieving

There’s a lot of things you can do if someone you’re really close to loses a loved one. Some actions you can take include bringing food over to your friend’s home, sending flowers or chocolates, or being a shoulder to cry on. What you decide to do depends on your level of comfort and how intimate your relationship is with this person. It might also depend on how much pain this loss is causing. Your friend may just want to be alone. A great way to find out how you can be supportive during a difficult time in your friend’s life, is to ask. “What do you need right now?” or “How can I support you through this?” are great examples for questions you can ask. 

The Purpose of Condolence Messages

If you have an acquaintance, or a friend who you aren’t particularly close with, you can still show consideration for what they’re going through. This is where condolence messages come in and can be a perfect way to get your sentiment across. Condolence messages are of course not limited to people who aren’t as close to someone who is grieving, but if you are in a more involved relationship then understandably you may want to do more. It is simply difficult to know what to say to someone, especially if you haven’t experienced a massive loss or shattering grief. We’ve compiled 15 examples of condolence messages that you can send, whatever your relation may be to the person who has suffered a loss.

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