For most of us, attending a graveside service for a friend or family member who has passed is often a new experience. Because of this, other than grief, you may also experience feelings of anxiousness. Not knowing what is going to happen or how the service is held can leave you feeling a little intimidated about the situation. As directors of funeral homes Tigard, OR., we understand that if you know ahead of time how the service will run, you can feel more comfortable. Here is a little about what you can expect.
A graveside service, also called a committal service, is the ceremony that happens after the funeral or memorial service. These services take place at the cemetery next to the grave or crypt site for the deceased and are shorter in length than the funeral or memorial service.
While every graveside service can be different, most follow a standard order of events. The service will start with the funeral officiant, typically a religious leader, offering a prayer. Then, the service will continue with eulogies given, readings by the officiant, and a closing prayer. The service will end with the body of the deceased being lowered into the ground.
When you arrive at the location, there may or may not be chairs set up. If there are chairs, they are typically reserved for immediate family so rather than sit in a chair, take a place behind them and stand. Wait for everyone to be seated, and if there are chairs left over, it is normally okay for guests to take a seat. However, if you notice that someone needs a chair more than you, such as an elderly or disabled guest, allow them to take the seat.
With some services, there may be portions where the guests will be able to participate. This is normally in the form of call-and-response prayers. If you are familiar with the prayer, feel free to join in. If you do not know the format or feel comfortable participating, simply standing quietly and respectfully is absolutely okay.
Another opportunity for guests to participate is when it comes to putting flowers or a scoop of dirt on the casket before it is lowered into the ground.
If you are unsure if you should attend the graveside service or not, it is best to wait to hear from the family. Many times families may hold a public funeral but may hold a more small, private
If the family wishes for everyone to be able to attend, they will have the details of the service announced at the end of the funeral services. If they do not announce any details, honor their wishes, and do not attend the graveside event.
If you would like more information about graveside services or other services offered by funeral homes Tigard, OR., give us a call and let one of our compassionate and knowledgeable funeral directors help answer any questions you may have.