Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 10.26.2022

How Do Funerals Usually Work in the US?

How Do Funerals Usually Work in the US?


Cross Checked By: SCOTT GINSBERG

American Funerals and Grief

Upon the loss of a loved one, it can be challenging to process your grief and understand your new reality. There is perhaps no greater difficulty than this. Funerals may seem upsetting and tough to get through, but they have a particular purpose. This is to further healthy healing, and share the burden of grief. Whether it is a funeral or a celebration of life, the goal is to honor the deceased in a positive way amongst close confidantes. There are multiple ways to hold a funeral, and this depends entirely on the wishes of the deceased and their loved ones. However, there are a few common traditions in the United States that are observed by a large number of people.

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American Funeral Customs And Traditions

Funeral planning is by no means an easy feat. Upon the passing of a person, it is common to hold an american funeral service where the body can be placed for viewing by friends and family. Prior to this, specialists prepare the body and dress it as per the family’s wishes if they have opted for an open casket service. The body is then placed in a casket chosen by the family, which can be bought online or in-person at a local funeral parlor. The casket is often decorated with flowers and bouquets. You can opt for a flower that was a favorite of the deceased, or a color to complement that of the casket.

A large photograph is usually placed next to the casket, especially if it is a closed casket service. The deceased’s funeral service is usually conducted according to their religious and spiritual beliefs. Funerals often have readings of texts, from the Bible to a short poem recited by a family member. A eulogy is given to honor the deceased, where the person who was closest to them says a few words. Music is usually included, whether by a band or choir. At the end of the funeral service, the body is customarily buried or placed in its final resting place. Many people host memorial services in a local church so that the burial ceremony can be done nearby with guests in attendance. After the funeral, there is usually a lunch event with food and drinks. This is often a potluck, with guests bringing a dish for the bereaved.

American Funeral Etiquette

There are a few commonly observed customs at a funeral. Most people wear black or dark colors, to represent the solemnity of the occasion. Flashy jewelry and bright colors are avoided, unless the dress code specifically permits it. If there is an item that holds sentimental value and represents your relationship with the deceased, it may be appropriate to wear it. It is important to maintain silence during the funeral service and burial in order to show respect to the deceased.

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Celebration of Life

A celebration of life is when the deceased's life is honored with a joyful event rather than through a funeral service. Instead of concentrating on the loss, it is an occasion for loved ones to reunite and celebrate the life and accomplishments of the departed. It can be a genuinely special and lovely way to say goodbye, allowing you to work through your grief and share the load with those who are close to you. They are frequently held following the burial or cremation of the deceased's corporeal remains. They might be enormous gatherings or private funeral gatherings with just immediate family. These events are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional funeral services.

While it's vital to mourn your loss, merely holding a funeral can frequently draw attention away from all of the wonderful memories you have and instead emphasize the tragedy of death. A few close family members may also speak during funerals. Anyone who felt a connection to the deceased or wanted to share a specific memory that brought them joy might participate in a celebration of life. By realizing how much of an impact this person had on people around them, rather than having to endure their grief alone, everyone's suffering becomes more tolerable.