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Funeral Home & Crematory Services
Most people have ideas as to what a funeral should look like. These notions are a result of where we live, our culture, religion and past experiences. Despite the many variations among funeral services around the world, they share many of the same attributes. The following information answers the question “What is a funeral?” in basic terms. If you have any questions about the passages below, please contact us at 708-532-5400 and one of our trained staff would be honored to speak with you about the common threads between funeral services across the globe.
What Constitutes a Funeral?
Regardless of its location, a funeral is an official event that has a conclusion. A funeral is designed to produce a change in the status of those in attendance within the community, give guests the opportunity to mourn as a group and honor the life of the person who has passed away. It is an expected method for a set of people to validate and strengthen their social bonds.
Those who study cultures as a profession describe a funeral as a rite of passage that affects all who are involved. It acknowledges that the deceased has changed from an active participant in society to an entity whose accomplishments are, and will forever remain, in the past. The status of those left behind is altered, as well, since a funeral can be seen as a marker for the commencement of a time of mourning for grief-stricken family and close friends.
In a way, a funeral focuses on the acknowledgment of change. Though it is difficult in any society for people to handle a change as fundamental as the death of someone dear to them, funerals provide a means by which the tear in a social group is recognized, as is the communal repairing of this split in the fabric of daily life.
Local Funeral Services
In this area, as throughout America, a funeral can hold different meanings. Some families have what is often referred to as a “traditional funeral
,” while others see this ceremony as lacking emotion. Some choose to sponsor a memorial service
or a celebration-of-life
as a tribute to their departed. To learn of the tremendous value held by these communal expressions of loss, please call us at 708-532-5400 to discuss how much of a healing experience such events are.
Huntington, Richard and Metcalf, Peter, Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual, Cambridge University Press, 1979.