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Funeral Service Options


A funeral is a time for family and friends to pay tribute to the life of a person, who even in death, still touches their lives. It is a time to laugh, to cry, to grieve even as we share memories of days gone by and to marvel at the influence that this loved one had on our emotions, our thoughts and even our actions. It is also an event that will impact the survivors for years to come. A funeral can be difficult, even challenging, but it is a time of profound life altering events.

No two funerals should be alike. Every funeral should be significant in its’ relevance to the deceased. Every funeral should be given the utmost personal attention of the funeral director. Every death should have a special meaning. This is the mission statement of the Kowalski Funeral Home.

As you read about the different types of service available, please keep in mind that this is but a brief outline of what is offered. The style and type of service is determined by the family and their needs. It is the funeral director’s job to help them arrange for the service they want and more importantly how they want it.

Traditional Funeral Service with Burial, Cremation, or Entombment

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A traditional funeral will usually include a private or public visitation of the deceased in the funeral home. The length of the viewing will depend on the family’s decision. This can be followed by a mass or service in a Church or even a service in the funeral home. The final aspect would be a burial, cremation or an entombment in an above ground crypt. During the viewing, people may offer donations for future masses in Church for the deceased or donations to charitable organizations. Family and friends are asked to sign the guest book and take a holy picture with the deceased name and dates of birth and death engraved on it for a remembrance. Flowers are often set around the room among displays of pictures and other special items of the deceased. Any type of casket for a burial or entombment can be selected, as long as the cemetery or crematory does not have specific regulations. There are caskets that are specifically made for cremation and even rental caskets can be used. Caskets can cost from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on what the casket is constructed of.

For burials in the ground, some cemeteries may require the use of a grave liner or a sealed vault. A grave liner is an outer box constructed of concrete, which will encase the casket as it is maintaining the weight of the earth of the gravesite. A sealed vault is constructed also of concrete, but is manufactured with inner liners that increase its’ strength and will restrict the entrance of water and earth, as it maintains the cemetery property of the gravesite.

For entombments, some cemeteries will require the use of a tray which the casket will sit in, as it enters the crypt. Many more cemeteries are now making use of a Mausoguard, which incorporates the tray with a complete covering of the casket with a heavy gauge plastic, which is then clamped down or fastened to the tray on all sides, prior to the placement into the crypt.

For cremation, after the cremains are returned to the family, there is once again a decision making process that every family should take their time with. Families may decide to purchase an urn and then keep the urn at home. Another alternative is to purchase a niche in a cemetery and have the urn placed there. Urns are made in many styles from various materials, so the family has an abundance of choices available. Perhaps the family already owns a plot in a cemetery and they may want to have the cremains buried in that grave. Scattering is also an option, whether it is done by the family in a location of their choosing, such as the ocean, or perhaps in a scattering garden set aside by the cemetery.


Visitation

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Many families choose to have a viewing or visitation, which allows family and friends the opportunity to view the person who has died, as well as visit with the family or other friends of the deceased. It is a vitally important aspect of a funeral. It allows the family and friends the time to express their mutual feeling and sense of loss with each other. Tears may be shed by many, but there is also a sharing of wonderful memories that helps in the acceptance of death and aids the healing process. A visitation usually includes an open casket, but for some families, a closed casket is an alternative. The length and actual time of a visitation is chosen by the family. There are private funerals, where the attendance is by invitation only. However, generally, the viewings are opened to the public for anyone to attend. Of course, there are always combination events, where the family may want some private time for themselves before opening the viewing to the public. The visitation, as with all aspects of a funeral, is planned according to the wishes of the next of kin.


Graveside/Entombment Service

A graveside or entombment service may be incorporated with pasts of a traditional funeral service as mentioned above. However, after the viewing in the funeral home is completed, the casketed remains would be taken by a hearse to the family gravesite or family crypt where a ceremony would take place. This ceremony could be conducted by a priest or clergy person, the funeral director or even members of the family or friends or a combination of people. Following the ceremony, the burial would take place.


Memorial Service

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A memorial service is a gathering of family and friends and is held without the body present. It can vary in the type of ceremonies that will be held during the service, as well as the choice of venues for the service. A memorial service can take place in the funeral home or at a location of your choice. Even without the body present, the event should be personalized and meaningful to those who attend. This is accomplished by bringing pictures to display, memorabilia of past events that the deceased enjoyed, tributes that the deceased may have received for his or her accomplishments and even many of his or her favorite things, perhaps cook books, reading glasses, music boxes or even model trains. The ability to create a very unique memorial service is endless.


Immediate Burial, Cremation or Entombment Service

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For either an immediate burial, cremation or entombment service, the procedure is the same. Once a death has occurred, the deceased is brought to the funeral home and held here temporarily. An arrangement conference is held with the immediate next of kin to ascertain that this is the type of service he or she wants. The next of kin will sign all the appropriate documentation and arrangements are then made with the cemetery for the specific burial, cremation or entombment. The death certificate is signed by the physician, completed by the funeral director, filed with the city clerk and the permit if obtained. Then the deceased is placed into the selected casket or alternative container and transported to the cemetery for the service chosen. There is no embalming need, as long as we keep within the time lines established by the state. Also, there with immediate funeral services, there is no visitation or religious services of any type. For a direct burial or direct entombment, a minimum type of casket can be used, as long as it meets with the cemetery regulations. For a direct cremation, an alternative container made of cardboard is generally used.

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Funeral Service Options

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