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It is important to know that there are essentially 2 funeral service types: Traditional services and Cremation.
Traditional funerals are typically more common, but cremation services have gained more favor in recent years. Traditional funerals involve a formalized service sometimes called a wake that gives family and friends the chance to "view" the person and say farewell to the person they love.
The wake service generally comes before a formal ceremony at the funeral home or in a church. Many funeral services may be set outdoors as well. The funeral may involve the reading of prayers or speeches by loved ones. There may also be poetry readings or other dedications during the service.
Traditional services also include a hearse to transport the remains, embalming and preparing the remains for the viewing before burial. Planning a traditional funeral may also include floral arrangements, special music or cherished items to be placed in or around the burial site.
Contrary to what many people think, the choice for cremating services doesn't mean you cannot hold a traditional ceremony. Many funeral homes that offer burial services can provide traditional services such as a viewing before the cremation procedure.
The main distinction is in the way the remains are handled. When cremation service is selected, the body is cremated and the ashes are often given to a family member in an urn. With a traditional burial, a casket, burial plot and other services are needed. A burial marker is also typically placed on the burial site.
No matter what type of service you decide on, be sure to look for a trusted funeral facility for advice on which options are best for you.