Funeral Service And Speech Style Options

When a loved one dies, you can choose from a variety of styles in which to plan the funeral or memorial service.

Generally, we don't give as much thought to planning a funeral as we do for a wedding or even an anniversary celebration. Instead, funerals often catch us by surprise, since we don't always know when a loved one will pass on. Consequently, the service may be unplanned, hurried, or spontaneous rather than a thoughtful memorial to preserve precious memories.

We don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about funerals to do it right. But we can take a little bit of time now to think ahead about possible options, so when the time comes, we won't be caught off guard but rather be ready to arrange a meaningful service.

Choose the funeral home or mortuary in advance. Even if you don't contact the company, at least you know where it's located and can easily find the number when the time comes. A better approach is to get in touch now, find out about the type and cost of available services, and have a general idea of how to plan for the passing of a loved one, even if it doesn't occur for several years.


One of the chief questions to ask concerns the type of style of services that are offered. Family members often have great influence in choosing the theme, mood, or tone of a funeral. Here are some possibilities:

1. A spiritual departure. This type of mood emphasizes the religious views of the departed and family members. Church music played in the background, a service provided by clergy, and commemorative cards with Bible verses help to strengthen the spiritual impression. Visitors will understand that the loved one rests in the arms of the Almighty now, and they can lay their fears or grief to rest.

2. A heavenly celebration. Some cultures or communities prefer a happy perspective on death. They may wear white and still have a religious service, but the background music may be jazzier or more upbeat. Accompanying events can include a release of balloons or butterflies at the grave site and joyous singing that looks forward to eventual reunion with the dear departed one.

3. A sobering loss. It may be that the deceased died as a victim or perpetrator of violence, or as one who could not escape an encompassing disease. Such losses may be displayed in sad music and thoughtful reflections on life's brevity, along with the need to tend our own souls before meeting our Maker in eternity someday. The tone may be hushed and music may point guests to a spiritual reckoning.

4. A laudatory eulogy. Professional persons or celebrities often seem to be honored with this type of service. Famous people or professional leaders, sometimes more than one individual, stand before the guests to recite a long list of the departed one's accomplishments, beliefs, and philosophies. Awards, honors, and recognition may be cited, along with the person's goals that were met or that remain for others to carry forward. Music may be played in the classical style, with an eloquent speaking oration and controlled tone.

Some services use a combination of these styles, or another that is quite different. There may be one central speaker, like a clergy figure or a celebrity. Or a host of friends and family members may choose to share brief anecdotes or friendship testimonials. Every person is unique, and so should their funeral service be. Gather a few ideas now for the eventual program that will honor the passing of another human soul.

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