Although we often blog about funky funeral trends, Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services adapts to whatever style our clients prefer. And that includes traditional funerals, memorials and receptions. In fact, highly liturgical services make up a large portion of our mortuary portfolio. What matters are the tastes and preferences of the deceased as well as his or her family and friends. So, don’t feel pressure to find Twitter hashtags and Pinterest boards to decide which flowers to order, or what types of music to download for your loved one’s service. The best decision you can make as you plan a memorial is to honor your loved one’s legacy.
What Marks a Traditional Funeral?
Since most people will plan a funeral service just once or twice over the course of their entire lives, the experience can be daunting. So, it’s natural to feel apprehensive, uncertain or even fearful about related decisions. This blog post is meant to give you permission to relax and plan whatever celebration of life you desire. For ideas about thoroughly modern memorials, click here or here. If you would prefer to go the traditional route, here are a few guidelines to give you an idea of a handful of typical traditional memorials:
Traditional Jewish Service
Jewish law requires bodies to be buried within a day or as soon as practical after death, with exceptions. Depending on the degree of orthodoxy of the deceased, the rules around cremation may vary. For Orthodox Jews, cremation is not acceptable and the body should be buried, intact, in the ground. The funeral consists of prayers, a eulogy, and the reading of psalms. Rabbis and guests recite traditionally prayers, such as the Memorial Prayer, called “El Maleh Rachamim,” and the Mourner’s Blessing, called “Mourner’s Kaddish.”
Traditional Catholic Service
After someone dies, a priest should be contacted to deliver last rites and to be consulted during the funeral planning process. Historically, the Catholic Church did not support cremation. However, recently, Catholics consider cremation acceptable. Catholics hold funerals in Catholic churches, Catholic assisted living or care facilities, or in the chapels at Catholic cemeteries. Our new venue, Sacred Heart, was formerly a Catholic Chapel, but is currently non-denominational, so appropriate for any type of service. Priests lead the Funeral Mass, and may also lead the funeral liturgy (service). But in cases where a priest is unavailable, a deacon or layperson with knowledge of the liturgy and traditions may lead the service.
Traditional Christian Funerals
These vary in style as much as the different denominations they represent. From Catholics to Mormons to Lutherans, Christianity has inspired many religious sects, each with its own emphasis and interpretation of the Bible. Although these religions hold slightly different beliefs, they follow the same principles and share similar funeral rituals. But, in general, pastors or experienced laypeople lead memorials, funerals or celebrations or life. Recently, the Church embraces cremation as readily as embalming and burial. Christian funerals feature music. Mourners sing hymns or contemporary worship songs with piano, organ, or stringed instrument accompaniments.
Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, estimated to have nearly one billion followers. Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no founder and no common creed or doctrine. In Hinduism, the body remains at the home until it is cremated, which is usually within 24 hours of death. Mourners scatter ashes at a sacred body of water. People offer flowers, but no one brings food. Hindu funerals always feature an open casket so guests can view the body. The Hindu priest and senior family members conduct the ceremony.
Whether you prefer a traditional or trendy funeral or memorial, we would be happy to help you plan and carry out the service. Foothill Funeral & Cremation is one of very few funeral homes that are certified by the Green Burial Council. With a beautiful showroom and offices located at 402 West Baseline in Glendora, Foothill Funeral & Cremation proudly serves the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Basin, Orange County and the Inland Empire. With years of experience in the mortuary industry, we have worked hard to build a reputation of quality, sincerity and trust. We would be honored to help you at your time of need or in the future. Call today (626) 335-0615 or drop by our showroom.