For thousands of years, funerals have been a means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone we love.

Ritual is the way cultures in all times and places have marked significant events in their communities… they tell us where we’ve been, they bind us together, they give us courage for the journey. The funeral service helps mourners recognize the loss as real. We know that we are there to acknowledge that someone has died, and to acknowledge the death not just in fact, but in feeling. We come together to grieve in the presence of a caring community. The service, then, exists for the living, not for the deceased. It is for those of us who remain, those who have loved him/her and lost him/her. What did he/she mean to our lives? What part of his/her legacy lives on with us? How do we wish to remember him/her?

Gathering with friends and family gives everyone the opportunity to share memories, express emotions, and find comforting support.  Whether you choose burial or cremation; whether you select a formal funeral or a more relaxed memorial service, the need for acknowledgment of the loss with family and friends is paramount.

Now it is time to think about how you would like the service to look and feel. It should be a celebration of life, an observance that meets the emotional needs of your family and commemorates the life that has been lived.