The American funeral has changed more in the past few years than in the prior fifty
years. It used to be that the "Traditional Funeral" was pretty much the same. A
wake or visitation period, which lasted anywhere from one to three days, followed
by a church service and burial in the cemetery. Yet today, there is no such thing
as a "Traditional Funeral". People are choosing funeral services that are more reflective
of the person and fit the lifestyle of the family. And with more and more ethnic
groups living in our city, traditional funerals now incorporate many of the customs
and ceremonies of different cultures. In any given year, Lowell-Tims Funeral Homes
conducts funeral services for Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Buddist and
Hindu families, not to mention families that opt for non-religious, humanistic services.
Given the diverse group of families that we serve and the different options that
we provide, there are many choices available when it comes to a funeral.
To give our client families and friends some guidance in selecting a funeral service
that is meaningful, we have put together answers to questions about different types
of funeral options.
What is The Difference Between A Funeral and Memorial Service?
Really the only difference between these two services is whether or not the body
is present. A funeral service is conducted with the presence of the body and a memorial
service is conducted in memory of the person, without the presence of the full body.
To learn more about memorial services, visit our cremation section of this guide
Why is a Funeral Service Important?
In the earliest recorded times, societies honored the dead through ceremonies. According
to beliefs at that time, the purpose of the ritual was to properly send the decedent
on the journey into the next life. Today, however, psychologists and other experts
agree that the benefits of the funeral are for those left behind; those who must
reconstruct their lives following their loss. Before family and friends can fully
adjust to their loss, survivors must express their grief in ways meaningful to them.
They must face, openly and realistically, the fact that death has indeed occurred.
The funeral provides the opportunity to do exactly that.
What Is The Purpose of Embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and
enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming
makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition,
thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service
most comforting to them.
Is Embalming Required By Law?
No, in Oklahoma embalming is not required by law. However, embalming is required
if the family has selected a funeral service with a public wake or viewing. Embalming
is also required if the deceased is to be tansporting from one state to another
by common carrier. For example, if an individual passes away in Florida and is to
be transported by airplane to Oklahoma for burial, embalming would be required.
What Times Are Available For A Visitation?
While we provide guidance with respect to visitation periods, we leave the actual
time up to the family. Visitations may extend to multiple days or may take place
in just an hour or so before the funeral service. Morning, afternoon and evening
hours are available during the week or on weekends. It all depends upon the needs
of the family.
Why Do Funerals Seem So Expensive?
When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals
are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it
is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour,
labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines,
hearses, etc.); these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover,
the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services
of a funeral director in making arrangements, filing appropriate forms, dealing
with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the
Can You Still Have a Traditional Funeral With Cremation?
Just because someone is interested in cremation does not mean that the family cannot
have a viewing and funeral service. All of the customs and ceremonies associated
with a traditional funeral can still be performed prior to the cremation taking
place. For these occasions, we offer economical cremation caskets and rental caskets.
Where Can a Funeral Be Held?
Traditionally, funerals are held in a church, which is still a common practice today.
However, there are several other options. Funeral services may be held at the funeral
home in our Chapel or can even be held at the gravesite or cemetery chapel.
How Can A Funeral Be Personalized?
It is becoming more common to tailor a funeral service to the personality of the
deceased. Prayers and remembrances offered by family and friends, favorite music,
treasured belongings, pictures and momentos can all play a major role in making
the final tribute fitting and moving. The family can choose to assemble a display
containing family photographs, favorite possessions, items from a hobby or awards
the deceased received. These items help shift the emphasis of the services to the
memories of the person's life, rather than on the circumstances of his or her death.
Personalization can also be added by simply choosing the most appropriate services
and products available from the funeral home. These include cremation and its various
service options, participating in a living memorial program.
What Cemetery Options Are Available For Burial?
Most funerals in North America conclude with earth burial, which is burying the
remains contained in a casket into the ground. Purchases made for this option generally
include a casket, a vault, a cemetery plot and a headstone or grave marker.