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Funerals 101

What Type Of Funeral Do I Want?

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Funerals and their various customs and rituals date back to the beginning of civilization. All cultures have some common practices in terms of dealing with the death of loved ones. However, there is no such thing as a "standard" funeral throughout the world. There never has been.

A funeral is typically influenced by religious and cultural traditions, cost, and family and personal preferences. These factors help determine whether a funeral will be elaborate or simple, public or private, religious or secular, and where it will be held. They also influence whether the body will be present at the funeral, if there will be viewing or visitation, and if so, whether the casket will be open or closed, and whether the remains will be buried or cremated.

If you live in a tight-knit community where all funerals are the same, you are content with it, and you will be able to afford it, you may just want to let your heirs know what you would like, and that takes care of the matter.

However, if you want something more reflective of who you are, think about what you want. There is no right or wrong. Be as creative as you want. For instance, one baseball lover wanted people to come to his funeral in baseball attire.

If it helps you make a decision, there are three types of funerals common to America today. A funeral may incorporate elements of each of the various types. For example, if you decide you want to be cremated, you may still have a viewing prior to the cremation if that is what you would like. Additionally, with a "traditional" funeral, you may choose and/or reject various components according to your wishes and desires. To learn more, see Types of Funerals.

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Funeral Plan Chart

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