It’s easy for people to say, “Oh, don’t make a big deal out of my funeral. Just bury me in a pine box and be done with it.” But it is important to realize that funeral and memorial services are for the living, and a vital step in the grieving process. These services provide a time and space for family and friends to gather together to grieve openly, provide support for one another, and celebrate a life lived.
We believe that every life has value and that every life deserves to be commemorated in a meaningful way. The choices you make to celebrate the life of your loved one may be as simple or elaborate as you wish. We are here to help you select the best option for your family. The staff of Austin Funeral & Cremation Services will listen to your desires and customize each service according to your family’s wishes.
Visitations provide a time and place for friends to offer their expressions of sorrow and sympathy to the family of the deceased. Depending on a family’s wishes, the body of the deceased may or may not be present. Visitations usually take place prior to any type of service, but can be held after a service. Although visitations can sometimes be physically draining for families, most family members find great comfort in the support and kindness shown to them at the visitation.
A funeral service is a ceremony commemorating the deceased with a casket present during the service. Pallbearers will escort the casket to the funeral coach and then proceed to the cemetery for a committal service and burial. Often families will choose to have a formal procession from the place of service to the cemetery.
A committal service takes place at the grave, usually following the funeral service. A brief passage of scripture and prayer are offered prior to the burial. Families may choose to leave after the committal service or may choose to stay while the casket is being lowered into the ground.
The entire funeral service takes place at the grave. Oftentimes a graveside service is the choice of those who want a simple service. Some families will choose a graveside service for elderly family members who have outlived their peers. It is important to consider the weather and physical condition of those who will come to the service. For some, walking through a cemetery to get to the grave and then standing during the service might be more difficult than having a service in an indoor setting with plenty of seating. For others, a simple graveside service is the perfect way to honor their loved one.
A memorial service is a ceremony commemorating the deceased without a casket present during the service. Some families choose to have a burial prior to the service. For families who have chosen cremation, a memorial service can take place either with or without an urn present.
Receptions are usually held after services, and are a time for friends and family to gather for a meal. This time gives everyone a chance to talk and share stories in a more relaxed setting. Sometimes friends will prepare food ahead of time for this gathering. Other times receptions will be held at restaurants, hotels, country clubs, or be catered at a park, church, or someone’s home.
The staff of Austin Funeral & Cremation Services will arrange for services to be held at the location of your choice. We encourage each family to select a setting where they feel comfortable, such as a place that holds special meaning to their loved one. For many, this will be in their home church. We can assist families in selecting and securing a location if a family is uncertain of the best setting.