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How to Plan a Loving Gathering Before or After a Cremation

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These days, more families and individuals are choosing cremation as their final wish. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) projects that nearly 56% will select cremation by 2020.

As the popularity of cremation rises, so do misconceptions. One of the biggest myths is that having a cremation means there cannot be a memorial or funeral service. This is simply untrue. The NFDA states that many grief experts believe a funeral or memorial is a necessary part of the healing process, and those that do not have this opportunity may not face the reality of the death.

If you’re having a loved one cremated, consider holding a memorial or funeral to gather family and friends in one location to aid in the grieving process. Continue reading for three ways to plan a loving gathering for a cremation.

Related Resource: Download the Cremation Costs Explained Guide.

1. Decide on a Funeral or Memorial Service.

When it comes to cremation, a funeral or memorial service are the two most popular options for a gathering. The following are the differences between the two services:

•  A funeral service is held in a funeral home, church or another appropriate setting and the body is present. Services can include an officiate, clergy or celebrant. In addition, funeral services require a rigid container to transfer the deceased to the actual cremation.

•  A memorial service takes places after cremation, meaning the body is not present. Quite often, families choose to display the cremated remains in an urn or another decorative container during the service.

When it comes to deciding between a memorial or funeral service, consider whether you want the body present. Also, remember to factor in personalization options like the location of the gathering, photos, flowers, music, catering, or DVD you want displayed that will celebrate the life of the deceased.

2. Plan a Gathering Around the Final Disposition.

Since you’ve selected cremation as the final disposition, next consider where you want to place the cremated remains. Again, you have several options to choose from, including:

•  Permanent possession, which allows families to keep cremains in an urn or another decorative container on display in the home or another location.

•  Scattering cremated remains means you can place your loved in their favorite location.

•  Burial of cremated remains allows you to rest near other family members, even if they did not select cremation as their final disposition. Also, families who choose this option have the ability to bury the cremains in multiple locations.

No matter what option you choose, it’s possible to have a gathering to celebrate. For example, if scattering is the best option for you and your family, gather your loved ones at the deceased’s favorite garden or beach, after the service and scatter the cremated remains in remembrance.

Also, look for funeral homes that offer an on-site crematory. This ensures your loved one remains in their custody and can be a nice location to gather with close family before or after the final disposition. A service held at a facility with an on-site crematory makes it simple to plan the cremation, gathering and other services under one roof.

3. Consider a Permanent Memorial.

Families who select cremation are also given the option of a permanent memorial. Choices for permanent memorials range from a marker in a cemetery, a plaque, or even an object like a tree.

When you choose memorialization, remember to include the loved one’s favorite artwork, photos or flowers to adorn the monument. These monuments serve as the perfect place for a gathering, as you can invite your family to hold monthly or yearly visitations.

When you choose cremation, it’s possible to hold a loving service for family and friends. Invite loved ones to celebrate the life of the deceased and allow time for grieving. If you’d like more information on cremation options, read our ebook, Cremation Costs Explained: How to Get the Best Value Without Sacrificing Service.



Image via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain License 


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