There are a lot of things to consider when arranging for funeral services for a departed loved one. All the elements of the funeral should contribute to the solemnity and peacefulness of the occasion. While the occasion is one of mourning and sadness, the atmosphere does not necessarily have to be drab and somber. The guests who will visit to pay their respect to the deceased should feel welcome. The atmosphere should also be one that allows them to remember good memories about the deceased.
Modern funeral homes are flexible enough to accommodate the wishes of the deceased’s family.
Some religious beliefs require special set ups as in the case of the Chinese. There are also some common color motifs that are requested by the family depending on their religious background, nationality, tradition, and even the deceased’s preferences. It’s not only black that is used as a color motif for funerals these days.
Ample seating and perhaps tables for those serving food and refreshments are also required as part of the funeral set up. The guests should be made comfortable as they share in the family’s mourning. A small table to serve as an altar is also often available for use during religious rites and ceremonies held at certain times.
There are also candle holders placed by the casket. Flowers are also common fixtures in funerals. There are arrangements that are placed on top of the casket and on the floor around it. It is also common for relatives, friends, employers, and organizations among others to send flower arrangements for the funeral with their messages of condolences.
To remember the life of the deceased, family members may set up a table with the pictures of the departed. Photo collages from friends and family could also be displayed on the table or on the walls. Some are creative enough to make short videos that show how the deceased lived his life. A projector may be set up in one area of the viewing chapel so the guests can watch the videos.
Another way of remembering the deceased is by setting up a place in the viewing venue where his favorite things can be displayed. This may include his school yearbooks, his favorite trinkets and souvenirs, his sports jersey and equipment, his collections, and other things he held dear. These items will evoke fond memories of the deceased as visitors attend his wake.
Music is another important element.
Usually, religious hymns are played. There are also common tracks from pop music that are often played in funerals. The family could also opt to use the deceased’s playlist during his funeral. There are cases when a family member or a friend may offer to play an instrument during the wake. Those with more budget to spend can hire a string quartet to play or a choir to sing during the funeral services. A choir can also be hired to sing in the religious rites held during the wake.
Food and refreshments are also part of the funeral arrangements. This, however, is not usually part of the funeral services packages. It is often the family members who arrange for these provisions. Some guests also bring food to serve to other guests in the funeral. Again, those without budgetary constraints can go all out and hire catering services to provide food and refreshments to the guests during meal times or round-the-clock for the entire duration of the wake.
The funeral programme and schedule are also important elements of funeral services. Those who wish to offer messages or deliver eulogies for the departed should be informed beforehand. Ministers, priests, or pastors should also be contacted to lead the religious rites. Arrangements will also have to be made for pallbearers and hearse service during the final funeral rites.