What Is A Funeral?
We believe a funeral should be just what you need it to be. A time of reflection, comfort, loving support, solemn ritual or sharing loving memories. Or, perhaps a little of each. Whatever you need to meaningfully honour the life at its end and give comfort and hope to those who carry on.
Perhaps it’s easiest to discover what you need if we begin by asking why we hold a funeral?
Regardless of the unique choices families may make, most funerals are still:
- an occasion to recognize the loss of someone important in our lives. To honour and, often, to celebrate their life and how they touched ours.
- an opportunity to say good-bye. The end of one journey and the beginning of another that won’t be quite the same without them.
- a time for community to gather around and express their love and support for those most directly affected by the loss. Remember a funeral honours the dead but its greatest benefit is to those who must carry on.
You may prefer the term funeral or memorial service; you might choose a celebration of life and something else entirely unique to you and the life you’re honouring. Whatever your needs and preferences, our role is to help you find ways to achieve these things in a manner that will suit and benefit you and your family.
We tend to think of the funeral as just a brief period of formal ritual (the service) and, as important as that is for many of us, it is usually just one element in the process of addressing loss. Today it is not uncommon for some to choose a less formal option and rely more on other types of gatherings.
Families have typically chosen some combination of gatherings and rituals to express their loss and seek comfort. Visitation periods at the funeral home or church, a formal funeral service in one of those venues and, often, a gathering or reception following services. Some take a very traditional approach, others tailor their arrangements in a manner that is more in keeping with their lifestyle or their desire to create a fitting tribute. Regardless of your preference, we are here to help and we have plenty of experience with both styles.
All of these considerations hold true whether you are preplanning services for yourself or making arrangements for another at a time of loss. As you consider your options you may find that there are benefits to preplanning for those who wish to make special or very personalized plans and want time to think about their choices. You will find that our staff are very capable of assisting in either situation.
So, a funeral is not necessarily a predefined event. Think of it in terms of what you need to properly honour a life and to care for the living. The people, the places, the events and the furnishings are all up to you and you have many options to choose from. If you’re not certain you understand your choices, ask a funeral director or preplanning counsellor to help you explore them.
Learn more: Traditional Burial Or Cremation
Mcadam's funeral home & Crematorium
160 York St.