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.

Unfortunately, not all funeral services are arranged equally, and therefore not all can be considered good or worthy of remembrance. Sadly, some funeral services may be held in which those who attended would rather forget it ever even happened at all, and perhaps never mention it again. Of course, making a judgement as to whether or not a funeral service was good or not is rather subjective and is not a straightforward decision. Determining whether a funeral service was satisfactory depends on many factors, including whether or not the grieving family’s preferences and expectations of the event were met. And if you were to ask the question of what makes for a good funeral, you would surely get different responses depending on who you asked from funeral directors to friends and loved ones in your life. 

Continue reading as we go over some of the most common factors that make for a good memorial service. Take these as recommendations to consider when planning for a funeral, and not as rules set in stone. Ultimately, the logistics and details of a funeral service don’t matter as much as whether or not you feel that the service enables you to pay proper tribute to your deceased loved one, offers you some peace and comfort and hopefully, a sense of closure as you say your final goodbye to your loved one. 

Choose The Location Wisely 

The last thing you want when preparing a funeral service is to unknowingly end up choosing a funeral home that is known for a less than satisfactory reputation. Wherever you’d like the funeral service to be held, whether at a restaurant, beach club, church, or funeral home, etc., it is important that you do the proper research in advance to make sure that the funeral home you choose is reputable and has a reputation of quality.

Just imagine having all of your grieving guests come to say their last goodbye to your loved one only to encounter an unpleasant reception hall or have the funeral home’s staff members express a lack of empathy or tact. You want to make sure to find a funeral home that is committed to creating the most beautiful, respectful and dignified experience for you and those you hold dearest to properly honor your loved one who passed away. 

You can avoid the possibility of accidentally choosing a funeral home with a disreputable reputation by conducting an online search of the funeral home, reading reviews, or simply by asking for opinions of other people who you trust who previously used the funeral home. You can also check our list of resources available through our extensive and comprehensive network to help you find the best, reputable funeral homes near you that meet you and your family’s needs. 

Add A Special, Personal Touch to the Funeral Service  

Incorporating personalized elements a funeral service can help you arrange an affair that is memorable and feels worthy of the loved you are honoring. 

There is no need to necessarily abide by religious observances or traditions if it is not to you and your family’s desires. You are also not obligated to play the typical somber funeral fare or have you and your guests wear the traditional clothing that is to be usually worn at a funeral service, again if it is not something you prefer.

For inspiration to create a more special and memorable affair, consider infusing touches of your deceased loved one’s personality into the event. For example, you can ask guests in attendance to wear a specific color that your loved one favored, or wear your loved one’s favorite sports team’s shirt, etc. You may also consider asking attendees to make monetary donations on behalf of your deceased loved one to support causes that were important to your loved one, instead of bringing other gifts such as flowers, for instance.

Consider the Timing of the Event 

While it is common for funeral services to be held on the next day, directly following the death of the individual, it is not necessarily always the case. You can always take some time to arrange a memorial service if you want to put extra time into planning it, and again, you are not obligated to hold it the next day.  

When choosing the best time for a memorial service, make sure to take into consideration any family members who may be traveling long distances and will therefore, need a few days to get there or other factors like the time of day the service is held. Wouldn’t it be a shame if certain loved ones of yours weren’t able to make it to the funeral to pay their respects due to an issue with timing or because you chose a time that didn’t accommodate everyone’s needs? A funeral service can be held in the morning or late afternoon and on weekdays or weekends. Just make sure to choose a time that is suitable for you and those attending the event. To learn more about choosing funeral timing, check one of our latest posts.  

Thoughtfully Choose the Music 

While it can be easy to underestimate the importance of music and even overlook it when planning a funeral service, playing the right background music can be the perfect way to add that extra touch to the memorial service to help lighten up the event as well as add a personal, poignant flair. 

Music, especially of which was special to your loved one being honored, can help detract from the heavy, somber nature of the event and create a more welcoming  and inviting atmosphere. Playing your deceased loved one’s favorite music is the perfect way to turn a funeral service into a more momentous and personalized occasion.

Prepare Memorable Gifts for Guests in Attendance

Consider giving away a meaningful reminder for your guests to take home after the service is over. These gifts can serve as a lasting memory of the event and your  deceased loved one to continue honoring their memory long after the service is over.  Giving gifts to your guests in attendance is also a great way to make your guests feel more appreciated as well as make the affair feel more special and memorable. 

Examples of unique attendance gift ideas are a photograph of the deceased, a poem or song they wrote, a small sample of their favorite perfume, or simply a little medallion featuring an inscription of their name. 

Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong when it comes to holding a funeral service. You’ll find that people’s definition of what makes for a good funeral will vary from person to person according to everyone’s expectations and backgrounds. 

People can easily become too preoccupied with various logistics and details, trying to reconcile different people’s interests and preferences to attempt to create the most ideal experience for everyone involved. Remember, the fundamental  purpose of the occasion is to pay homage to your loved one and to offer them a final and beautiful send off that does justice to the incredible person they were and the meaning they gave your life and all who loved them. Again, what is truly essential is that you honor your loved one in a way that feels right to you and your family and honors someone very special to you in a poignant and meaningful way.

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