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Planning a Meaningful Service

A funeral service should be as special as the life you will be remembering. Our dedicated team at Charles W. Smith & Sons Funeral Homes want to help you in planning and providing a meaningful funeral or memorial service.

Yes, a funeral service can be both meaningful and memorable. Most of us are not prepared to plan and carry out a funeral service for someone we love. A personalized, meaningful funeral helps families and friends begin the healing process of mourning after the death of someone we love. The service should reflect their personality, interest and experiences.

Our experienced funeral directors know the funeral planning process.  Our team can help you with all of the details and create a memorable service that fits your needs and values.What is a Meaningful Funeral Service?

A meaningful funeral service is how families channel their grief and move towards healing. During the funeral, the community comes together and responds to the reality that someone has died. The reality that those remaining will need support, compassion, love, hope and understanding. The funeral encourages you to think about the person who has died. Explore the meaning of their life and the ways in which they touched the lives of others.

The remembering, reflecting and choices that take place in the planning and conducting of the funeral service are often an important part of the process of grief and mourning. And ultimately, this process of contemplation and discovery creates a memorable and moving funeral experience for all who attend.
Why Have a Meaningful Funeral?

When we experience the death of someone we love, important needs are filled with a funeral service. The important needs are:

•    A special tribute to the life of the deceased where the community comes together

•    Helps survivors face the reality of death and mortality

•    Helps survivors take the first step from grieving inside themselves with an expression of mourning outside of themselves.

•    A reality that mourners will need understanding, compassion, support, hope and love

•    A celebration of the meaning of their life, and how they touched the lives of others

For these reasons and more, it helps to understand the components of a meaningful funeral service. The different parts combined make an incredibly emotional experience for yourself, friends, family, and your community.
How to Create a Meaningful Funeral?

You may feel overwhelmed by these decisions that must be made to plan a funeral service. You may feel deep sadness as you acknowledge the reality of not having a loved one in your life. That is ok. We are here to help guide you through the steps. We will provide you with the information needed so you can make those important choices.

Once we have completed the paperwork and planning, you will feel deep satisfaction in planning a funeral or celebration of life service with us.

When working with us we will help you choose the following:

  • Type of funeral service to hold
  • What will happen to the body
  • How the body will be cared for after death
  • Honoring the wishes of the deceased and survivors.

Yes, there will be more decisions to make but we are here to help you through the process. You can have a family conversation before coming in to see us at the Charles W. Smith & Sons Funeral Homes. The family members can express their grief and may help you make some initial decisions before the arrangement conference.

The Arrangement Conference

This scheduled meeting is when a funeral director helps you plan the funeral. During the arrangement conference, the funeral director will:

  • Explain all the choices available to you and your family.
  • Help you make decisions to create a meaningful funeral or celebration.
  • Gather important information about the deceased to complete the necessary documentation. Assist you in arranging and implementing the details for your meaningful funeral service.

Our funeral directors will discuss a variety of funeral service types and formats. There is no one right way to have a funeral ritual. Funerals can be unique with many dimensions and experiences in expressing grief. A ceremony or celebration should be fitting for the deceased and the survivors. Please use the opportunity to be creative while sharing an honest expression of heartfelt valves. There are no rigid rules. There are guidelines to help you proceed if you are not sure.

Please visit the page in What We Provide | A Loved One Has Passed | Step 3 – What to Expect When You Arrive at Our Funeral Home. This page will help you be prepared for your Arrangement Conference with us.

The experienced team at Charles W. Smith & Sons Funeral Homes are prepared for your call and visit at any of our locations.Ideas of Creating a Meaningful Funeral

The funeral service you plan should be as special as the life you will be remembering.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Write a personalized obituary. You may wish to add your loved one’s most memorable qualities. Include a few lines from a meaningful song or poem.
  • Create a column in the guest book for people to jot down how they knew them and a short memory after they sign their name.
  • Select flowers that were meaningful to the person who died.
  • Don’t be afraid to use humor, where appropriate. Remember, the eulogy is a celebration of the life of your loved one.
  • Place personal items and hobby items on a table at the visitation.
  • Show a DVD or slide show of the person’s life during the funeral.
  • Light a candle. The flame of a candle represents the spirit. For some, it also represents life’s continuation beyond death.
  • Use music, especially if the music was meaningful to the person who died or means something to your family.
  • Project photo images of the person’s life during the ceremony.
  • At the funeral, invite people to write down a memory of the person who died. Appoint someone to gather and read the memories aloud.
  • Give guests an order of service, including the eulogy. Personalize it with special memories, photos or lines from a poem.
  • Create a personalized grave marker.

We know that all families are unique and will have personal requests, customs and traditions to be part of the service. Our team will work with you to plan that meaningful service for your loved one.