A Quick Funeral Planning Checklist

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A funeral service is a beautiful way to acknowledge and celebrate your loved one's life. But the funeral planning process is riddled with stress and uncertainty.

The good news is there are several beautiful ways to personalize a funeral service. You just have to know where to start.

Here's a quick review of everything you and your loved ones need to know when planning a funeral, whether you're planning someone else's funeral or pre-planning your own.

How to Plan a Funeral Service

A traditional funeral service consists of:

  • Visitation
  • Funeral service
  • Committal service
  • Reception

funeral visitation gives people the chance to show respect and support for the family, often occurring the day before the funeral service. The funeral service is the formal element, in which eulogies are read, an officiant (religious or non-denominational) leads the service, and other personal elements depending on the person. The committal service happens in the cemetery at the graveside, when the casket or coffin is lowered into the grave.

Most of all, though, a funeral is all about finding the most meaningful way to say goodbye, which can include anything from unique expressions of the deceased (like a favorite song) to religious beliefs.

Funeral Planning Checklist

Your first step in planning the funeral is figuring out the funeral events. Funerals traditionally include the three elements listed above, but they can also include a wake or viewing, a memorial service, and a celebration of life. Wake, viewing, and visitation are often used interchangeably, but the key difference is whether the body is present. Memorials and visitations do not have the body present, but the memorial happens after burial.

You'll also need to think about the manner of internment. For most people, that's a choice between a traditional burial or a cremation. Your loved one may specify how they wish to be interred, but if they don't, families may also make the choice based on finances—cremation is much cheaper than a traditional burial, since there's no casket involved.

Then, there's the burial place itself. You'll have to choose the plot where your loved one will be buried, as well as the grave marker. Many families choose to have a loved one buried with relatives, such as a spouse, parents, or siblings, but the choice is personal.

If you have your own funeral ceremony ideas and want to take the stress off your loved ones, funeral pre-planning is a great way to go. You can choose the funeral home that will conduct your funeral service, along with directions on your wishes for the funeral service, what will be done with your body, and how you wish to be buried. You can even pay for funeral expenses in advance. If you take this route, make sure to loop your loved ones in on the discussions so they know what to expect.

Let's Celebrate Your Loved One's Life

Funeral planning is an emotional experience, but it does not need to be a stressful one. You just need the right partner in the planning process.

At Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home and Crematory, we help guide families through this difficult time to honor their loved ones in the best possible way. To do this, we offer services for a wide variety of needs. You can pre-plan your service if you so choose. You can opt for a traditional funeral service. You can set up your memorial, on-site ceremony, and even your headstone.

Either way, the focus is the same: celebrating life and giving families the chance to come together.

If you need to speak with us about funeral services, please get in touch today.

Since 1905, families in the Greater Pottstown area have turned to the independent, family-owned Schumacher and Benner Funeral Home & Crematory to meet their funeral needs with professionalism and sensitivity.  

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