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When it comes to funeral services, not everyone wants the same thing. Choices depend on religious and cultural practices, funeral costs, and personal preferences. Services can be elaborate or simple, religious or secular, public or private, in a funeral home or elsewhere. The body may or may not be present; the remains may be buried or cremated and put in an urn. If there is a viewing or visitation, the casket may be open or closed.
There are three typical types of funerals:
Traditional, Full-service Funeral Arrangements
Most people are familiar with the more traditional, full-service funeral at a funeral home. It is typically the most expensive and includes:
Funeral costs include:
A casket, plot or crypt, and other goods and services (flowers, pall-bearers, music, limousine service, etc.) may also be included. As with all funeral arrangements, it’s important to know exactly what is included, so make sure you ask clear questions and get clear answers.
Direct Burial without Traditional Funeral Services
Direct burial means the body is buried shortly after death in a simple container. There is no embalming, no viewing, and no visitation.
Costs, which are usually less than for a traditional funeral, include:
There may be an additional charge for a graveside service if family and friends choose to attend the burial. Loved ones may also choose to hold a memorial service at a later date instead of a graveside service.
Direct Cremation without Traditional Funeral Services
Direct cremation generally costs less than combining it with traditional funeral services. With direct cremation, the body is cremated shortly after death without embalming. Following cremation, the body is placed in an urn or other container.
There is no viewing or visitation. Loved ones may hold a memorial service where the remains may or may not be present. Also, loved ones can keep the remaining ashes in an urn, have them buried or placed in a crypt or niche in a cemetery, or have them buried or scattered in a favorite place.
While direct cremation usually costs less than a traditional burial, costs include:
There is a charge for the urn or container and the plot or crypt if the remains are be buried or entombed. Funeral providers who offer direct cremation must offer an alternative container to use in place of a casket for burial or entombment.
At FuneralDecisions.com, we understand how emotionally and financially difficult it can be to lose a loved one. Our goal is to provide a powerful tool to help you make an educated purchase when looking for funeral homes and cemeteries in your time of need.