When you need to plan a Roanoke, VA funeral service, you are often in the initial phase of loss and you may be dealing with shock and numbness that your loved one has died. It may be hard to think of everything that you should do or want to do for them in the funeral service.
However, with a basic outline of what the common elements of funeral services are, you will be better equipped to make the detailed decisions about to fill in the details of those elements when you are making funeral arrangements, even if you and your loved one didn’t discuss this before they died.
The first thing you need to decide about a funeral service is who will officiate the service. For many people, this is a clergy member, but some people choose a close friend of the family, a family member, or even the funeral director to officiate the service.
You also need to decide if you want to have the funeral service livestreamed via the internet for people who are unable to attend in person and if you want to have the service recorded for you and your family to keep.
It’s important to note that you can have a religious funeral service without having a clergy member officiate the service. It may be that you don’t have a local congregation that you are affiliated with or it’s not feasible for a clergy member that you would like to perform the service to do so. A close friend, a family member, or the funeral director can read scriptures – with direction from you – to make sure that the funeral service is religious.
The first element of most funeral services is broadly referred to as readings. Different people whom you’ve selected ahead of time will read prose, poetry, and/or scriptures that either express the emotions of the funeral (loss and grief) or that were favorite passages of your deceased loved ones.
You may want to choose immediate family members to do these readings, but you should be aware that some of them will be too emotional to try to say anything, so you need to plan for alternate readers. Close friends and distant family members are usually better choices for doing readings because, although they are sad at the loss of a loved one, the funeral service is less emotionally charged for them than it is for immediate family members.
The next element, which is optional, of funeral services is eulogies. A eulogy is a tribute to your deceased loved one that highlights their character or the legacy they’ve left behind. Each eulogy should be about 10-15 minutes. If you choose to include a eulogy or two in the funeral service for your loved one, ask people who knew them well to do the eulogies.
Spiritual comfort is usually the next element that is in most funeral services. Spiritual comfort is included to give hope to the mourners and to offer solace to the grieving family. Spiritual comfort may consist of reading scriptures or it may include a short sermon. You should provide input for this element of the service for your loved one.
The final element of a funeral service that you will have to plan for is music. Usually two or three songs are played during a funeral service. These can be performed live or they can be recorded. Choose songs that were meaningful to your loved one and that are meaningful to you and your family.