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It is best to understand that there are basically two types of funeral services, Traditional funerals and Cremation.
Traditional funerals are generally the most common, but cremation services have risen in popularity in recent years. Traditional services involve a formalized service sometimes called a wake that allows loved ones to see the remains and say good-bye to their close friend or family member.
The wake or viewing typically comes before a dignified service at the funeral home or in a house of worship. Traditional services may be held outdoors as well. The funeral might include the reading of prayers or family and friends sharing their memories about the one who has passed on. The service may also include music, dedications or special mementos.
A traditional service also includes a hearse to transport the remains, embalming services and readying the remains for the viewing prior to entombment. Funeral planning may also entail floral arrangements, special music or mementos to be placed in or near the casket.
Contrary to widely held belief, the choice for cremation doesn't negate the opportunity for a funeral ceremony. Many funeral homes that provide interment offer traditional services such as a wake before cremation
The difference is in the way the remains are handled. When cremation is selected, the remains are cremated and the cremains are frequently returned to a family member in an urn. With a traditional burial, a burial box, cemetery plot and other services are required. A headstone is also typically placed on the burial site.
No matter what type of service you decide on, be sure to look for a dedicated funeral home for advice on which options are best for your situation.