While most of us associate funeral services with religious
beliefs, statistics show that about half of Americans are choosing
to have nonreligious end of life services. Services might be held
in a funeral home, church, temple, private home, crematorium, park,
beach, even at sea. Services are also including more meaningful
songs, readings, and mementos to family and friends.
So while there is no cookie-cutter description of funerals, one
thing is certain: the funeral, ritual, memorial, service,
celebration, or whatever it is called will be significant in
helping the family grieve and start the healing process.
People grieve in different ways. Some may tear at their clothes,
or wail and moan. Others will stand quietly, receiving family and
friends. Still others may focus on sharing happy memories with
Regardless, it is the purpose of funeral customs and traditions
to give the family a way to express their grief, find closure, and