Can You Still Hold Traditional Funeral Services if You Choose to Do Cremation?

Cremation is becoming a popular choice for families as a way of memorializing their loved ones. It is a common misconception however, that if you choose to do a cremation for your loved one, that you cannot hold a visitation, wake or other traditional funeral services. You need not be concerned about this. In truth, it is not only accepted to hold a visitation or funeral service before a cremation; it is completely appropriate to do so. The important thing is to honor your loved one in a way that will be sentimental and meaningful for you and your family that also abides by your loved one’s personal wishes. One of the benefits to choosing cremation is that families can enjoy more freedom in choosing which kind of ceremony they would like to hold to pay tribute to their loved one. So, the key takeaway here is that most likely, your needs and wishes can be accommodated to honor your loved one before or after cremation. 

Are Traditional Memorial Services Held Before or After the Cremation Process? 

While a traditional memorial service can be held prior to or after the cremation process, it is more common for it to take place before, This also enables you to have the opportunity to hold an open casket as well. Usually, in a wake, family members visit their loved one prior to the funeral service, with the casket present and the body of their loved one embalmed inside. With visitations on the other hand, it is not necessary for the casket or the body of the deceased to be present. Visitations usually occur one day before or the same day as the memorial services. 

How is the Casket Handled in Cremation? 

If your loved one is cremated prior to visitation, a “rental” casket would be used for the visitation or wake ceremony. The exterior of the casket would be of a hardwood shell, and would look as such to any one viewing it, but the interior would contain the cremation container holding your loved one’s remains. The hardwood shell casket would be re-used while the interior will be cremated with the deceased, making it a more environmentally conscious as well as economical option than if you were to use a cremation casket. 

What Happens After Visitation or Funeral Services?

Like any other funeral service, you will be able to decide how you wish to handle your loved one’s ashes afterward. Even after cremation, you can still keep in line with usual tradition and hold a burial and graveside service afterwards. You can also hold the funeral service at the crematorium itself in which the cremation will be performed. 

Again, the added advantage of choosing cremation is that you will have more options of how you would like to handle your loved one’s remains to honor them and their legacy. You can use a portion for burial or graveside services, while leaving others to scatter in emotionally significant locations and/ or dividing between family members.

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