Information provided by
Ross Hollywood Chapel and www.DignityMemorial.com.
The next time you attend a funeral, don’t be surprised if it more closely resembles the last wedding you went to than the somber farewell you bid your grandfather 20 years ago.
In recent years, funeral services have evolved from a formal or structured service with religious music, scripture, prayers and little or no information regarding the life of the deceased to a true celebration of a life remembered.
“The key to turning a funeral into a celebration of the life lived is through personalization,” said Angela McKenzie-Tucker, General Manager of Ross Hollywood Chapel and a Dignity Memorial Celebrant. “This encourages family, friends and visitors to share memories of the decedent and how he or she relates to the personalized elements of the service or the items on display.”
Here’s just a small sampling of some recent funerals that were personalized to suit the life they celebrated:
At a funeral for a well-known concert pianist, the family opted to have a Steinway and Sons piano moved to the gallery of the funeral home. The florist created a huge spray of white flowers cascading from the strings of the piano onto a large carpeting of flowers surrounding the piano.
Another family brought in items related to the decedent’s work as a professional horseman for his visitation. Saddles, boots, numerous square bales of hay, partial fence structures and even a live horse in a make-shift temporary corral transformed much of the décor of the funeral home.
For the funeral of an avid hunter, the florist turned the funeral home chapel altar into a hunting blind, and the deceased’s hunting dogs were nearby in hunting position.
The funeral service for a cycling enthusiast displayed the decedent’s road bike and cycling medals next to the casket. At the cemetery, members from his cycling club escorted the hearse carrying his casket from the cemetery gates to the gravesite.
Other elements can personalize a funeral service in addition to creative décor. For example, music at a funeral service is not limited strictly to religious hymns. It can – and should – include the favorite music of the decedent.
Photographs, too, can easily personalize a service. Today, it is commonplace to feature not only photographs but also video tributes during the visitation. Dignity Memorial® funeral homes include the production of an Everlasting Memorial video tribute with many of their funeral and cremation plans.
Also, receptions at the funeral home, or the family’s home after the service, are more the case today than the exception. Often, these receptions are elaborate catered events with entertainment.
“Shared meals have brought families together around funeral services since the beginning of time,” added McKenzie-Tucker. “Traditional or contemporary, the funeral reception allows family and friends to continue spending time together sharing memories and comfort.”
For a further personalized approach, a certified funeral celebrant may be the more appropriate choice. Funeral celebrants specialize in creating a funeral ceremony experience that uniquely expresses the personality, lifestyle and interests of the person it honors. By working closely with you and asking insightful questions, the celebrant discovers your loved one through the stories you share. He or she can then design a fitting funeral service that incorporates your loved one’s interests or legacy through special and creative details. A personal eulogy, the perfect venue, thematic decorations, a special song or thoughtful keepsakes all may be part of a memorable funeral service planned and provided by a funeral celebrant.
Certified celebrants can serve in place of or in addition to traditional clergy. They can officiate the ceremony at the funeral home, cemetery or other location of your choice. Regardless of your family’s religious affiliation, culture or heritage, Dignity Memorial certified funeral celebrants design services that tell beautiful stories.
Funeral services are changing to meet the needs of a generation that has different ideas about life – and about death. This is not your grandfather’s funeral. You can expect more and demand more. Dignity Memorial funeral, cremation and cemetery providers can meet those demands.
“By focusing the funeral service on things the decedent enjoyed, as well as the experiences shared throughout his or her life, it encourages the sharing of stories and discussions of the decedent,” said McKenzie-Tucker. “In some instances, these discussions may allow the family to learn specials things about their loved one that otherwise they may have never known.”
To get started planning your celebration, visit www.DignityMemorial.com to request a free Personal Planning Guide or find a local Dignity Memorial provider.
The Dignity Difference
The Dignity Memorial network is North America’s largest network of funeral homes and cemeteries. Dignity providers serve more than 300,000 families each year through our 2,000 locations in the United States and Canada. For us, there is no higher honor than to be chosen to bring loved ones, friends and a lifetime of memories together in celebration of a special life.
When you choose a Dignity Memorial provider, you not only receive the compassionate care you expect from a locally operated establishment, but also the value you deserve from the largest network of funeral homes and cemeteries—including an array of services and benefits that is unmatched by any other funeral provider in North America. To learn more about these benefits, such as the award winning Dignity Memorial Guidance Series, the Compassion Helpline, National Transferability, The Everlasting Memorial or our 100% Service Guarantee, please visit www.DignityMemorial.com.