Burial is simply a ritual act of placing the deceased into the ground. The earliest human burial dates back 100,000 years making it one of the longest-lived and most widespread of traditions. Burial is often seen as a sign of respect for the deceased. A proper Burial is widely regarded as a strong sign of respect for the deceased. It has been used to prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure and prevent them from witnessing the decomposition of their loved ones, and in many cultures it has been seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life.
We have the deepest respect for this traditional practice.
How to Plan a Burial Service
Burial services can be seen in hundreds of Hollywood films and television productions; some are uplifting, others are humorous; and some merely attempt to convey the emotional weight carried by the characters involved. Because of these cinematic efforts, most are familiar with the appearance and traditional ceremonial format of a burial service. But when it comes time to make arrangements for a graveside service on behalf of a deceased family member, it can be challenging to turn what is only vaguely familiar into a truly meaningful, deeply personal event.
We’ve broken down the discussion into three areas of concern: choosing a casket and burial vault, planning a graveside ceremony, selecting a cemetery and burial property.
Buying a Casket
You'll typically read that the casket is the single most expensive purchase you'll need to make during this time. And while we can't really disagree with that statement, we will tell you that the purchase doesn't have to cost you more than you can afford. We have a wide selection of affordable caskets to choose from and will work closely with you to keep the cost of your loved one's graveside service within your family's budget.
The cost of a casket aside, the type of casket you select will be based largely on personal preference. Would you prefer a casket of fine hardwood or metal? There are caskets of walnut, cherry, maple, oak, pine and other species of wood. Metal caskets come in varying thicknesses and a wide array of finishes. We don't want you to guess what's best for your situation; instead we'd like you to turn to us for assistance.
Besides choosing a casket, you will also likely need to buy a burial vault because most cemeteries require them. Burial vaults protect the casket and support the soil around the casket so to ensure the soil does not collapse onto the casket causing it to sink. Most burial vaults are made out of concrete and lined with plastic.
How to Plan a Graveside Service
The details really depend on your motives and emotional needs. If simplicity is your primary focus, then the graveside service we design could look very different from one which is guided by religious doctrine. The service format will also be impacted if you choose to have a funeral ceremony prior to the graveside service. If you do choose to have a traditional funeral beforehand, then the graveside service can be much simpler and may only include the Rite of Committal, a final set of prayers given to the deceased.
And while you could think of your loved one's graveside service as a modified version of a typical funeral, with a member of the clergy leading attendees in standard hymns or prayers; we'd rather you let go of your expectations. That way, we can come to the planning process with no limitations to our creativity. Together we'll determine the best date and time for the graveside service, and select the most meaningful readings, songs and activities to be featured in their service.
We'll discuss who you would like to lead the event; it could be your funeral director, a member of the clergy, a celebrant, family member, or close friend. Certainly, the selection of the cemetery and graveside plot are practical decisions; but planning the service format is where the heart can take over. Your funeral director will sit with you for as long as it takes to bring love and memories into the event. He or she will explore your loved one's life with you to find the essence of who they were, all in the effort to craft a fitting graveside service.
Selecting a Cemetery & Burial Plot
Before we get too far into the subject, we should mention that a family member may have already chosen and purchased a burial plot or mausoleum crypt. It's also very possible a distant relative purchased a large section in a local cemetery intended for the future burial of family members. In either of those situations, you'll need to obtain the documents necessary to prove ownership of burial rights and then bring them to the initial meeting with the funeral director.
What if there is no such pre-plan in place? Then you will need to locate a cemetery and select the burial property on your own. And while we know today's consumers are smart and have access to more information about products and services than ever before, we also know that the purchase of cemetery property isn't a commonly-made transaction. Therefore, please contact us and we can help you with this purchase.
What is a Funeral?
Turning to the social sciences for a more holistic idea of what makes a funeral, we learn the common features of funeral services around the world. You'll learn all funeral services are rites of passage, transforming status and reaffirming social ties.
Thibadeau Mortuary offers respectable graveside services, which are held at the burial site. Our expert funeral directors can help your family plan a truly distinctive graveside service down to the smallest detail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wondering if a burial service is right for you? This section answers some of the most common questions people have about burials and the elements surrounding them.